Kellen Jones ready to hit the field against his former team


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Jones played for Oklahoma back in 2011
Jones played for Oklahoma back in 2011

CLEMSON – When Clemson linebacker Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

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drew a personal foul penalty after hitting South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson in last month’s rivalry game, it set a chain of events in motion that could see linebacker Kellen JonesKellen Jones
RS Jr. Linebacker
#52 6-1, 233
Houston, TX

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get a Russell Athletic Bowl start against his former team.

Anthony was ejected after being called for targeting – a questionable call at best – and the ejection means he will have to sit out the first half of the bowl game against Oklahoma. Enter Jones, who made it perfectly clear this past week that he is looking forward to the chance to play the Sooners.

“I want to get back at those guys for sure. I cannot stand Oklahoma,” Jones told the media earlier this week. “I was already a UT (University of Texas) fan going there but UT was the only school not to recruit me out of high school in Texas, so I wanted to get back at them but I made the wrong decision. I'm an even bigger UT fan now.”

Jones recorded 10 tackles in 12 games for the Sooners in 2011, where he played under current Clemson defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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. Jones made the move to Clemson during the spring of the 2012 season, after sitting out a year has played the last two seasons for the Tigers.

Jones said that he simply didn’t feel at home at Oklahoma.

“It just wasn't the fit for me as far as the social environment, the coaching staff overall just didn't fit my personality, my thought process, my dreams and my goals in life as far as what I want to do in college. I didn't feel like it really fit me,” he said.

He did like Venables, however, but says that he didn’t follow Venables to Clemson.

“He was a good influence but at the same time, I was not going follow one coach and make my decision off of that,” Jones said. “I did that at Oklahoma with him and I turned out not liking it too much. I didn't want to follow just because of one coach because a coach isn't going to have control over everything. I wanted to find out about the academic program, see Coach (Dabo) Swinney and his mindset of being a student athlete and not just an athlete, his overall perspective and his disposition as far as the football experience and being a student and developing young men.

“Coach V coming here, I was very intrigued by that. It's kind of ironic and funny because my dad and I were watching Clemson when I was recruited out of high school and I was going to Michigan. We saw Coach Swinney being very excited and very emotional. He was always galvanized during a game. I said, ‘Pops, that looks like it would a good guy to play for.' It was ironic how we were able to come here. He was just the guy that we thought he was.”

He still keeps tabs on the Sooners, and knew a few weeks ago that a chance to play against his former teammates was a possibility.

“Everybody was talking about it before the ACC Championship game how it was a big possibility,” Jones said. “Once Florida State won, everybody said that we were definitely playing them. I was like, 'Hey, let's go!' I was very excited about that.”

While Jones heads into this game with a little extra motivation, does he think Venables feels the same way?

“Are you serious? Is that even a question? Of course. That's where he built his career at,” Jones said. “That's where it all began for him after college. He invested 15 years there. I think it's a very big game. We can see how serious he is during practice today.”


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