Tyler Jones had the game of his young career last week against South Alabama. His skill set has shown his ability to manage the offense and make plays in crunch time. He's only a true freshman, but coming in with a high school state championship has polished his resume, and prepared him to rise to the occasion when needed. Jones spoke on his poise carrying over to the division one level.
"I think that being in situations like that, being in no huddle is what we kind of did in high school. We played up tempo. That last drive (against South Alabama) was very similar to my HS and I enjoyed that. But ultimately going fourth and 25 is just about being calm and relaxed, knowing you can get through it and have the play-making ability to do it."
Jones came from 3A Stephenville High School. Less than a year after his last high school snap, he's playing against D1 talent from all over the country. Tyler explained all the differences he's had to grow a custom to in this short time.
"It's so much different. Coming in (to Texas State
) my skin was completely flawless. Now I have bruises and bumps everywhere. These guys are good that you're playing against. You don't even realize it until you're out there playing trying to escape a 260-280lb defensive lineman. The amount of preparation here is huge compared to what I did in high school."
He's been given more throwing responsibility, going 15 for 25 as opposed to his 5 for 12 the week before. What's impressive is that he got the ball to 8 different receivers. Jones thinks learning how each teammate plays over the past 4 weeks is key.
"Chemistry has been a pretty big deal. I only had a week before Wyoming to get some snaps. I'm still trying to grow and get adjusted to them. Ultimately I'm trying to gain their faith as much as I can. Having that ability to throw to them knowing what they're doing kind of like I have with Brice (Gunter, Freshman WR from Stephenville) has been going good."
He hasn't been able to meet with any of the current commits or recruits this season, as he's been busy trying to get adjusted to school and his new schedule. He likes his time at Texas State so far. Like every freshman, he lives in a dorm and is trying to balance his school work around everything. Jones mentioned how his stay has been so far.
"It's been pretty nice. Brice is my roommate so it's kind of a homey feeling. We're both pretty homesick being freshmen. It's a change. A lot of this is a change. This whole culture is a change for us. I'm still trying to get adapted to it. Hopefully I'll grow into it and get better with it."
When asked about his goals in college, he just wants to leave his mark here. He's not looking into pro ball just yet, and is trying to take everything one week at a time.
"Short term is to improve game by game. There's a lot of things I can definitely work on as far as footwork, pitches, and how I read defenses. In the long term I want to make an impact on this program, a reputation that's held up here that people can remember. That was my goal in high school and this is my last stop. I didn't have dreams about going to the NFL. I work one game at a time, one level at a time."
Of course he wants to put his team in the best position to win the national title while here and if not put them in the best bowl games possible. After school he plans to be a business man of some sort living in his home town. Until then, it will be on him to bring this program to the next level. He likes to think he'll only get better with time.
What do you think about the freshman leader? Will he land Texas State a big bowl game before his senior year? Let us know in our 'Cats Den Insider Forum!
This week BI caught up with starting QB Tyler Jones. Coming off of the season's biggest win, we learned what the process has been like from HS State Champ to Freshman leader.