Photo by Dennis Thomas / Luella defensive lineman Tevin Jones committed to Georgia Stateon Friday. “It made me feel like I was at home, like they really wanted me there,” he said.
LOCUST GROVE — Luella defensive end Tevin Jones knows what it’s like to be on a team struggling to find its first win of the season.
So Georgia State’s 0-6 start didn’t deter him from committing to the Panthers on Friday right before Jones and Luella got their first win of the season.
Jones, a 6-foot-4, 265-pounder, picked Georgia State over offers from Appalachian State, Connecticut, Florida International and Jacksonville State.
“It feels good,” said Jones, one of the Clayton News Daily/Henry Daily Herald’s pre-season ‘12 Most Wanted.’ “It feels like I have a burden lifted off my shoulder.”
Jones said he wanted to feel wanted by whatever school he chose, but also weighed factors of proximity to his family and his intended major of physical therapy.
Georgia State had it all.
“It made me feel like I was at home, like they really wanted me there,” Jones said. “They have one of the best [physical therapy] programs. I thought I would be better off being close to home for the sake of my parents.”
Jones’ coach agrees.
“I think it’s actually a great fit,” Luella coach Nic Vasilchek said. “It all really came down to he’s a real tight family guy. His dad’s always around at practices. Tevin and his family are always together. Him having a support network and family, I think he made a really good choice.”
Georgia State is a Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) member in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Panthers are scheduled to join the FBS next season as a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
But the Panthers will do so with uncertainty created by their current winless season and Panthers coach Bill Curry’s announcement that he’ll retire at the end of this season.
Jones wasn’t concerned with either.
“You can’t judge a team by their record,” Jones said. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Jones is the fifth player in Henry County to make a non-binding verbal commitment this year, joining ELCA’s Keyante Green (Purdue) and Isaac Rochell (Notre Dame) and Dutchtown’s Jordan Harris (Middle Tennessee) and Donovahn Jones (Missouri).