EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - The incredible collegiate career of Jones ended in grand fashion, with an invitation to the prestigious 2011 Senior Bowl. On that road to Mobile, he became the first Spartan to earn back-to-back consensus first-team All-American honors (2009-10) since Bubba Smith and George Webster in 1965-66.
He is only the fourth two-time consensus first-team All-American in program history (Smith, Webster, Lorenzo White: 1985 and 1987) and one of only two Spartans to earn first-team Associated Press All-American honors twice (Webster). He also became just the seventh Spartan to earn first-team All-Big Ten Conference honors three times.
Jones joined Dan Bass (1976-79) to lead the Spartans in tackles in each of four seasons lettering with the varsity. He closed out his career as the university's third-leading tackler with 465 hits, setting the Big Ten Conference all-time record while ranking tenth in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history. His 16.5 quarterback sacks tied for sixth in school annals and his 46.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage rank second on the MSU all-time record chart.
Jones also etched his name into the school season-record lists. He is the first Spartan to record at least 100 tackles in a season three-straight times (2008-10) since Percy Snow accomplished that feat from 1987-89). His career-high 154 tackles as a junior rank as the seventh-highest season total in MSU annals, while his nine sacks in 2009 tied for tenth on the school annual record list. He also recorded 14.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage in each of the 2008-09 campaigns, tying for 12th on the MSU record chart.
Jones was regarded as the state of Ohio's 16th-best prep prospect by Rivals.com during his senior season at Archbishop Moeller High School. He received a three-star prospect rating from that scouting service, as he also placed 34th among Rivals' national outside linebackers. Scout.com also accorded Jones three-star prospect status, rating him as the 24th-best strong-side linebacker in the country.
Jones earned Prep Star All-Midwest accolades and was an All-State honorable mention in 2006. He was also named All-District and All-City first-team during his final campaign. The two-time All-Greater Catholic League selection led the Crusaders with 71 tackles (35 solos), recording 23 stops for losses of 110 yards, including 11.5 sacks for minus 78 yards.
In 2006, he posted a career-best five sacks vs. Elder High. He also produced five tackles for losses vs. LaSalle. As a junior, Jones finished fourth on the team with 55 tackles (29 solos), as he also registered 13 stops for losses of 44 yards in 2005, including three sacks.
After heavy pursuits by Cincinnati, Miami (Oh.), Minnesota, Notre Dame, Purdue and West Virginia, Jones decided to sign his national letter of intent to attend Michigan State University on January 18th, 2007. Having graduated from high school with a 3.5 grade point average, the coaching staff saw in fall camp that their new recruit was ready to claim a starting job in 2007.
Jones played in all thirteen games, earning consensus Freshman All-American honors. He began his collegiate career as a reserve, but after inconsistent performances by three upper classmen at strong-side outside linebacker, the 220-pounder was handed the starting reigns for the Spartans' final seven contests. He would go on to become just the second true freshman to ever lead MSU in tackles, posting 78 hits (40 solos) with 4.5 sacks and 8.5 stops for loss.
In 2008, Jones became the first Spartans linebacker since Josh Thornhill in 2001 to earn All-Big Ten Conference first-team honors. He started eight games at strong-side line-backer before finishing the season with five starts in the middle. He led the team, ranked third in the conference and finished 17th in the nation with 127 tackles (80 solos) that included 14.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pair of sacks.
Jones was the recipient of the 2009 Linebacker Trophy (National Linebacker of the Year) from the College Football Performance Awards. He was a consensus All-American first-team pick and named one of 16 semifinalists for the Butkus (top linebacker) and Bednarik Awards (top defensive player).
Jones was also selected All-Big Ten Conference first-team, as the media chose him the league's Defensive Player of the Year. He paced the team and conference while ranking third nationally with a career-best 154 tackles (67 solos). He finished fifth in the Big Ten while leading the Spartans with nine sacks, adding 14.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage for the second consecutive season.
Again chosen All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team as a senior, Jones did not match his lofty tackle totals from the previous two seasons. He still led MSU with 106 tackles (49 solos), but only one of his ten stops for loss resulted in a sack. He did have the first two interceptions for his career and his three forced fumbles tied for sixth on the school season-record chart.
Jones started 46-of-52 games at Michigan State – 15 at strong-side outside linebacker and 31 at middle linebacker…Recorded 465 tackles (236 solos) with 16.5 sacks for minus 97 yards, 46.5 stops for losses totaling 160 yards and fifteen quarterback pressures…Caused five fumbles and recovered another that he advanced 15 yards…Deflected seven passes and had two interceptions for 36 yards in returns…His 465 tackles rank tenth in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history, breaking the old Big Ten Conference all-time mark of 453 hits by Abdul Hodge of Iowa (2002-05)…Only Dan Bass (541; 1976-79) and Percy Snow (473; 1986-89) had more tackles than Jones' in school annals…His 154 tackles in 2009 rank seventh on the MSU season-record chart…In 2007 (78 tackles), he became the first true freshman since Dan Bass in 1976 (111) to lead the team in tackles…Joined Bass (134 in 1977, 136 in 1978, 160 in 1979) as the only Spartans to lead the team in tackles four times in a career…Became the first Michigan State player since Percy Snow (127 in 1987, 164 in 1988, 172 in 1989) to record at least 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons (127 in 2008, 154 in 2009, 106 in 2010)…His 16.5 quarterback sacks rank sixth on the school career-record chart, while his 9.0 sacks in 2009 tied Courtney Ledyard (1996) and Larry Bethea (1976) for tenth place on the MSU annual record chart…Only Julian Peterson (48.0; 1998-99) recorded more tackles behind the line of scrimmage than Jones' 46.5 in school history…Became the first Spartan to earn back-to-back consensus first-team All-American honors (2009-10) since Bubba Smith and George Webster in 1965-66...Is only the fourth two-time consensus first-team All-American in program history (Smith, Webster, Lorenzo White: 1985 and 1987)...One of only two Spartans to earn first-team Associated Press All-American honors twice (Webster)...Became just the seventh Spartan to earn first-team All-Big Ten Conference honors three times…Produced double-figure tackle games 20 times in his career.
Jones was one of just 10 players in the nation to earn unanimous first-team All-American honors (The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, Football Writers Association of American and the Sporting News) and was the only repeat selection from the 2009 team to the 2010 Associated Press and AFCA Teams...Also garnered first-team All-American accolades from SI.com, Phil Steele, CBSSports.com and Scout.com...Named to the All-Big Ten Conference first-team for the third-straight year...Recipient of the Governor's Award (Team MVP)...Was named one of 16 semi-finalists for the Bednarik Award, one of 15 semi-finalists for the Butkus Award and one of 12 semi-finalists for the Lombardi Award…Also named one of 23 quarter-finalists for the Lott Trophy, which is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year…Led the team and ranked seventh in the Big Ten in with 106 tackles (49 solos), an average of 8.15 stops per game, joining Dan Bass (1976-79) as the only players in school history to lead the team in tackles four times…Tied for the team lead with 10.0 stops for losses of 20 yards, including a 6-yard sack...Tied for second in conference with three forced fumbles...Deflected three passes and intercepted two others for 36 yards in returns…Made 83 hits vs. the ground game, holding those ball carriers to 276 yards (3.33 ypc), 27 first downs and no touchdowns, as he made 18 third-down hits and three more on fourth-down snaps…Registered eleven tackles inside the red zone, including three on goal-line snaps.
2010 GAME ANALYSIS
Notre Dame…Jones delivered nine tackles with a sack and a pressure in a 34-31 win…The Irish's game-opening series ended with a punt after Jones leveled tight end Kyle Rudoplh on a third-&-22 reception that netted only 6 yards…Late in the third quarter, he slipped past 360-pound offensive guard Chris Stewart to sack QB Dayne Crist for a 6-yard loss.
Northern Colorado…Jones followed with a pair of pressures, as he caused a fumble and had the first two interceptions for his collegiate career…He killed UNC's game-opening possession when he picked off a Dylan Orms pass and returned it 34 yards to the UNC 5-yard line…On their next series, Jones caused a fumble when he stripped the ball from tailback Andre Harris on a 2-yard carry at the UNC 18…His third-&-7 pressure saw Orms toss an incomplete pass, bringing out the opponent's punt team at the end of the first stanza…His second interception came at the MSU 33 midway through the second quarter…UNC punted again in the closing seconds of the first half, as Jones again pressured Orms into firing an errant pass on fourth-&-9…In a crowded post game press conference room, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi raved about Jones' pass thievery, noting, "Greg Jones had to wait (43) games and then he gets two in one game, so there is more to come too. People question his hands, he has got great hands, he is a football player. Now we have got to teach him to score on that 5-yard line."…Fresh-man linebacker Max Bullough chimed in, "His interception really started off the game and set the tone. It really showed how intense we were about this game and how this game counts as much as any other. We needed to come out focused and ready to play, and being the leader Greg is, he came and kicked it off for us."…Jones took the podium and talked about his head coach, Mark Dantonio missing the game due to a heart issue, stating, "The week without Coach Dantonio was a little different, as far as how we carried things and how we did things throughout the week. Other than that, it wasn't too bad, everybody knew what was expected and knew we had to win this game."…On the results of the week and the business as usual routine; "It always feels good to get the win, but we still have a lot of room to improve. We need to get better on third down, can't miss tackles, and we have to make plays in general."…Record Watch-With five tackles vs. Northern Colorado, Jones passed Chuck Bullough (391 tackles, 1988-91) and moved into fifth place on MSU's all-time with 392 career tackles...Jones also recorded the first two interceptions of his career, with both leading to MSU scores...His 34-yard return in the first quarter set up Edwin Baker's 5-yard touchdown run...His second-quarter pick set up Le'Veon Bell's second scoring run.
Wisconsin…The senior linebacker was credited with eight tackles (6 solos) that included three stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pressure in a 34-24 defeat of the Badgers…UW was forced to punt after Jones pressured QB Scott Tolzien on a third-&-7 incomplete pass midway through the first quarter…Another Wisconsin punt followed Jones' tackle of tailback John Clay on a third-&-1 carry for a 4-yard loss early in the second quarter…On the Badgers' next series, Jones again took down John Clay for a loss behind the line of scrimmage…Wisconsin's last ditch series ended in failure, as Jones upended tight end Lance Kendricks for a 2-yard loss on a screen pass from Tolzien at the MSU 41…Jones again "manned the mike" in the post-game press conference. On how the team handled the news that Coach Dantonio wouldn't be in attendance; "Initially, I was not really expecting it, but I knew we weren't going to see him a whole lot anyway. Guys just went about it as business as usual. It felt like the intensity picked up, it was against Wisconsin, a big game, and it was the Big Ten opener. Guys on the offense really played their butt off. I don't think anyone doubted anything with Coach Dantonio not being there. We all know what to expect from Coach Dantonio when he is here, especially the seniors, Coach Dantonio has been here the whole time we have. We knew what he expected of us."…On whether there was intensity because Coach Dantonio wasn't here; "There is never more intensity; it was a big game and that was all we needed."…On whether MSU is flying under the radar; "We aren't going to worry about any radar, just have to worry about the next game. I think that is the biggest thing, to just stay focused, and worry about the next game. We aren't looking too far ahead at all."…On making the Badgers a one-dimensional offense; "That is the goal every week, that's the best way to play. You can't really play against a team that can do both (run and pass). You either have to stop the run or stop the pass. We try to do both. Once we got them to put the ball in the air, we were able to get pressure on the quarterback, and good things start to happen."…On enjoying this win before focusing on next week's game; "My focus went to Michigan once the seconds ticked off of the clock. It wasn't really long."…Record Watch- With eight tackles vs. Wisconsin, Jones passed Josh Thornhill (395) and moved into fourth place on MSU's all-time list with 400 career tackles...With a season high three tackles for loss, Jones passed Travis Davis (39) and moved into third place on MSU's career-record list.
Alabama (Capital One Bowl)…Jones closed out his career with eight tackles (6 solos) that included a pair of stops behind the line of scrimmage…On the Tide's game-opening drive, Jones leveled All-American tailback Mark Ingram for a 1-yard loss at the 'Bama 34…He also tackled Marquis Maze on a 17-yard punt return in the third frame…On Alabama's ensuing drive, he forced the Tide to punt when he upended tailback Trent Richardson for a 1-yard loss on a third-&-3 carry at the MSU 39…Record Watch-Jones finished his career with 465 career tackles, third most in school history…He also ended his career with 46.5 tackles for loss, which is second in school history…For 2010, he recorded 106 tackles, becoming only the second player in school history (Dan Bass, 1976-79) to lead the team in tackles for four consecutive seasons...He also becomes the first Spartan player to reach the 100-tackle milestone in three straight seasons since Percy Snow (1987-89).
Other Notable Performances…Jones opened the season with nine tackles, as he caused a fumble and broke up a pass vs. Western Michigan…Made 11 hits (5 solos), including one for a 2-yard loss, as he caused another fumble vs. Florida Atlantic…Was in on five tackles (4 solos) vs. Michigan and collected fourteen stops with a pressure in a 34-17 defeat of Illinois…Produced nine hits (7 solos) vs. Northwestern and totaled nine stops, including one for a loss vs. Iowa…Recorded nine tackles (4 solos) with 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in a 31-8 victory over Minnesota…Credited with eight tackles (4 solos), a pass deflection and a pressure vs. Purdue, followed by three hits (2 solos) in a 28-22 decision over Penn State in the regular season finale.
Jones was a consensus All-American first-team selection (The NFL Draft Report, the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, Rivals.com, CollegeFootballNews.com, CBSSports.com and Phil Steele), adding second-team honors from Walter Camp and third-team accolades from The Sporting News…Presented the 2009 Linebacker Trophy (National Linebacker of the Year) by the College Football Performance Awards…Was recognized as the nation's premier linebacker and the Big Ten's best player by CollegeFootballNews.com...Named one of 16 semi-finalists for the Butkus (top linebacker) and Bednarik Awards (top defensive player), and was selected one of 20 quarter-finalists for the Lott Trophy (defensive impact player of the year)…Chosen the Big Ten Conference Defensive Player of the Year by the league's media panel...Became the first Spartan to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors since the inception of the award in 1982...Also named Big Ten Defensive MVP by ESPN.com…Unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection by the league's coaches and the media...Started all thirteen games at middle linebacker, leading the team for the third-straight year, as he also paced the Big Ten and ranked third in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with 154 tackles (67 solos), the seventh-best single-season total in MSU history...Became the first Spartan to record back-to-back 100-tackle seasons since 2003-04 when both linebacker Ronald Stanley and free safety Jason Harmon reached the mile-stone...Ranked third in the NCAA FBS in tackles per game (11.8), tied for 30th in sacks (0.69 per game) and tied for 51st in tackles for loss (1.08 per game)...Also finished among the Big Ten leaders in sacks (fifth, with nine for minus 53 yards) and tackles for loss (10th, with 14.0 for minus 69 yards)...Reached double-figure tackles nine times, as he averaged 12.8 tackles during that nine-game stretch, and it marked the longest streak by a Spartan since Chuck Bullough produced double-digit tackles in 15 straight games in 1990-91.
2009 GAME ANALYSIS
Opened the season with fourteen tackles (5 solos) that included 1.5 sacks and 2.5 stops for minus 16 yards vs. Montana State…Followed with fifteen hits (5 solos) and 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Central Michigan…Totaled nine stops vs. Notre Dame and had fourteen hits (9 solos) with a QB pressure vs. Wisconsin…Posted eight tackles, as he assisted on a sack and recovered a fourth quarter fumble that he advanced 15 yards to seal a 26-20 decision over Michigan…Followed with 11 tackles (5 solos), including a 6-yard sack of Juice Williams, pressuring the QB into throwing two third-down incomplete passes vs. Illinois…Recorded fourteen tackles (9 solos) with two sacks for minus 9 yards, a pair of pressures and a pass deflection in a 24-14 defeat of Northwestern…Delivered twelve tackles (6 solos) vs. Iowa and had another twelve hits (7 solos) with a 2-yard sack of QB Adam Weber vs. Minnesota…Added 1.5 sacks for minus 13 yards, two pressures, a forced fumble and eight tackles vs. Western Michigan…Registered nine stops (6 solos) vs. Purdue and recorded fifteen hits with 1.5 sacks and 2.5 stops for losses of 11 yards in the regular season finale vs. Penn State…His thirteen tackles vs. Texas Tech in Alamo Bowl fell one shy of that game's record, as he also assisted on a stop behind the line of scrimmage.
First-team All-Big Ten Conference selection by the league's head coaches and second-team pick by the media, becoming the first Spartan linebacker to earn All-Big Ten honors since Josh Thornhill in 2001...Named to CollegeFootballNews.com's All-Sophomore Team (first team) and presented MSU's Outstanding Underclass Back Award...Started all thirteen games, opening at strong-side outside linebacker for eight contests before lining up at middle linebacker for the other five clashes…Led the team and ranked third in the league with 127 tackles (80 solos), an average of 9.77 hits per game…His 127 tackles were the most by a Spartan since Thornhill had 128 in 2001 and tied for 18th most on MSU's season-record chart...Led the team in tackles in 11 contests, becoming the first Spartan to record 100 tackles in a season since Eric Smith (101) in 2005...Led the Big Ten in tackles (89) in conference games, averaging 11.1 per game...Also led the Spartans in tackles for loss (14 for 38 yards) and had a pair of sacks for minus 9 yards…Also produced one QB pressure and a pass deflection…Produced double-figure tackles in each of the last seven games, becoming the first Spartan to record double-digit tackles in seven straight games since Thomas Wright in 2002.
2008 GAME ANALYSIS
Jones opened the season with eight tackles, taking down tailback Jahvid Best twice behind the line of scrimmage vs. California…Had six hits, including one for a 5-yard loss vs. Florida Atlantic…Totaled nine tackles (6 solos), upending tailback Robert Hughes behind the line of scrimmage vs. Notre Dame…Added nine solo tackles vs. Indiana and had eleven stops (6 solos), including one for a 2-yard loss vs. Northwestern…Recorded a 6-yard sack, 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and thirteen tackles (6 solos) vs. Ohio State…Posted ten hits (8 solos) vs. Michigan, followed by thirteen tackles (7 solos) and a 2-yard stop for loss on tailback P.J. Hill vs. Wisconsin…Made twelve tackles (7 solos) vs. Purdue and collected fifteen tackles (12 solos) with a 3-yard sack and 3.5 stops for losses totaling 9 yards vs. Penn State in the regular season finale…Delivered twelve tackles (8 solos) with 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and a pressure vs. Georgia in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Named first-team Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News, CollegeFootballNews.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com…Led the team with 78 tackles (40 solos), becoming the first true freshman to lead the Spartans in tackles since Dan Bass made 111 stops in 1976...Also ranked first among Big Ten freshmen in tackles and finished third on the team in sacks (4.5 for 25 yards) and fourth in tackles for loss (8.5 for 33)...Appeared in all thirteen games, starting the final seven contests at strong-side outside linebacker…Also caused a fumble and deflected two passes.
2007 GAME ANALYSIS
Began his career with a 6-yard sack, a pass deflection and seven tackles (5 solos) vs. Alabama-Birmingham…Added six hits (5 solos) with a stop for a loss vs. Bowling Green, as he also delivered five tackles with a 3-yard sack vs. Pittsburgh…Posted eight tackles with 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage vs. Northwestern…In his first career start, Jones responded with four assisted tackles vs. Indiana, adding fourteen hits (7 solos) with a 6-yard sack for his first double-digit performance as a Spartan, in a 24-17 loss to Ohio State…Registered eleven tackles (5 solos) vs. Iowa and made five solo tackles while causing a fumble when he sacked QB Matt Ryan for a 10-yard loss vs. Boston College in the Champs Sports Bowl.
No major injuries reported.
Attended Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Oh.) High School, playing football for head coach Bob Crable…Regarded as the state of Ohio's 16th-best prep prospect by Rivals.com during his senior season…Received a three-star prospect rating from that scouting service, as he also placed 34th among Rivals' national outside linebackers…Scout.com also accorded Jones three-star prospect status, rating him as the 24th-best strong-side linebacker in the country…Earned Prep Star All-Midwest accolades and was an All-State honorable mention in 2006…Also named All-District and All-City first-team during his final campaign…The two-time All-Greater Catholic League selection led the Crusaders with 71 tackles (35 solos), recording 23 stops for losses of 110 yards, including 11.5 sacks for minus 78 yards…In 2006, he posted a career-best five sacks vs. Elder High…Also posted five tackles for losses vs. LaSalle…As a junior, Jones finished fourth on the team with 55 tackles (29 solos), as he also registered 13 stops for losses of 44 yards in 2005, including three sacks…Graduated with a 3.5 grade point average.
PERSONAL Media Arts major…Son of Beverly and Greg Jones…Born 10/05/88…Resides in Cincinnati, Ohio.