If Rex Jones wanted, oh, say, a necktie for Father’s Day, he has three sons who no doubt are happy to pick out a gift, have it wrapped, and sign the card. But the former Crimson Tide basketball player gets more than that from his football playing sons.
Barrett Jones is an upcoming junior All-American offensive lineman for Alabama. His younger brother, Harrison Jones, is a redshirt freshman tight end. And coming along is Walker Jones, a 17-year-old playing at Evangelical Christian School near Memphis, where his older brothers preceded him as stars.
As Southeastern recruiting analyst for FOXSports/Scout.com and recruiting analyst for ’BAMA Magazine, Andrew Bone has spent time with members of the Jones family among them is Mrs. Rex Jones (Leslie). Mrs. Jones gathered some thoughts from her sons for Father’s Day.
Athletics runs deep in the Jones family. Rex is the son of Bill Jones, who was head coach and athletics director at the University of North Alabama (formerly Florence State) from 1974 through 1994.
"He led UNA to a national championship in 1979," Leslie Jones said. "It was the first time a college basketball team from the state of Alabama has ever won a national championship.
"Coach Jones was very proud of his grandsons, and he predicted that they would all be great athletes. He always said Walker would be the best of the bunch because he has the quickest feet."
Walker will have to be very good indeed to become the best of this bunch. Barrett already has a handful of top college honors with more predicted. Barrett was the starting right guard on the 2009 Crimson Tide national championship team and a Freshman All-American that year. He is expected to start for the third consecutive year this season, the only question being where. Barrett, 6-5, 311, has been a right guard the past two years, but late in spring practice worked at the important left tackle position, where Bama has lost two-year starter James Carpenter to the NFL.
Barrett, 21, has been as impressive off the field as he has been as a player. He is a straight-A student in his three years at Alabama. Moreover, he has given up his spring break the past two years to participate in humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti following a 2010 earthquake.
On Father’s Day, 2011, Barrett said, "The thing that I respect most about my dad is that he is a man of integrity. I have always loved him, respected him, and looked up to him as a role model in my life. I am so thankful to have a dad like him."
Alabama fans had only a brief glimpse of Harrison at tight end since he was redshirted last year and his public display has been limited to the A-Day Game.
Harrison, 19, is 6-4, 248 pounds. As a senior prep star he caught 16 passes for 272 yards (17 yards per reception) and seven touchdowns.
On Father’s Day, Harrison said his father, "He taught me most of everything I know in life. I couldn't ask for a better example or teacher of how to live life in an upstanding and Christ-like way and to make good decisions. The older I get the more I realize how much he has done for me and how I wouldn't be half the person I am today without his guidance and help."
On Father’s Day, the youngest son Walker said, "My dad is a great example for me because he shows me how to live and how to work. He also teaches me what is important in life and how to keep my priorities straight."
Beats a necktie.
L-R: Rex Jones, Walker, Rex's dad, Coach Jones, Barrett, Harrison
L-R: Walker, Leslie (mom), Barrett, Harrison, Rex
L-R: Harrison, Rex, Walker at the National Championship
Rex with sons Harrison, Barrett, Walker
Happy Father's Day!