Jones speaks out about transfer to Clemson

by - Senior Writer -
Jones speaks out about transfer to Clemson

Early April isn’t exactly National Signing Day, but the Clemson Tigers added another defensive player to the mix this week when Oklahoma linebacker Kellen Jones decided to continue his career at Clemson.

Jones, who was also considering Purdue, spent a brief period at Michigan last year before transferring to Oklahoma in the spring. He played for the Sooners last season, recording 10 tackles in 12 games, but decided in March that he wanted to take his talents elsewhere.

He said Thursday that he was excited to be a part of the future of Clemson football.

“I have decided to transfer to Clemson University to continue my educational and athletic pursuits,” Jones said in an email to TigerNet. “I was blessed with several different schools to choose to transfer to but two schools stood out to me, Purdue University and Clemson University. I visited both campuses and had a great time interacting with both coaching staff’s and the players at both universities. I could not go wrong with either school. I am grateful to Coach Hoe of Purdue and Coach Stoops of Oklahoma and I wish both programs much success.”

Jones – a 6-1, 222-pounder who runs a 4.6 40 - played for new defensive coordinator Brent Venables while with the Sooners, and he said that played a big factor in his decision to transfer.

“My decision came down to familiarity and trust,” he said. “I believe both coaching staff's are knowledgeable and passionate about football and about building young boys into men. But in the end I know Coach Brent Venables, I believe in Coach V, I trust Coach V, my parents trust and believe in Coach V, and I know he will help me become a better player and teammate.

“Everything Coach V told me and my parents about the kind of positive and supportive environment Coach Swinney has constructed at Clemson is absolutely true. And after meeting Coach Swinney and all the other coaches and support staff at Clemson I feel that CU will be the absolute best place for me. Coach Swinney is a truly awesome person to talk to and I believe he will lead us to many incredible seasons and we’ll have tons of fun doing it.”

Jones, who added in his release that his favorite color was purple, will have to sit out this season but starting in 2013 will have three years of eligibility remaining.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work hard with my Tiger teammates towards winning several more ACC titles,” he said. “Or as Coach Swinney says, “Another Clemson Championship.” I am “ALL IN!”

TigerNet spoke with Sean Jones, Kellen’s father, and he said his son was working hard on finishing his studies at Oklahoma and hopes to be on campus for Clemson’s second summer session.

“He is trying to crack down on his studies and finish strong,” Sean Jones said. “He is just as committed to academics as he is to football, and he wants to finish strong at Oklahoma and separate on good terms and in good standing.”

The elder Jones said he and his wife, Andrea, made the trip to Clemson with their son last month and while they fell in love with the campus and the coaches, they let Kellen make his own decision.

“He is pretty insightful,” he said. “It really came down to his trust and belief in Coach Venables and how Coach Venables believed in Kellen. Kellen is a very emotionally attached kid, and he wants someone who believes in what he can do. That was an unknown entity with other schools. But having that trust in Coach Venables was big, and he knows that Coach Venables will look out for him athletically, academically and spiritually.”

Sean Jones said that Venables couldn’t say enough good things about the university.

“Coach Venables told us that Clemson was a different place from Oklahoma,” he said. “But it is a great place for different reasons. Everything he told us about Clemson sounded like the right fit – the overall support system, the small, tight-knit campus and community and the passion for the game.

“It was also the passion that Coach Swinney has, and helping them be successful on the field and in life. He has an emphasis on kids praying and being thankful for where they are, and he lets you know the kids won’t be there by themselves. It was really a great experience when we visited the campus. Coach Swinney is the genuine thing, who is honest about all things in a kids’ life and making them better.”

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