2009 Breakthrough Candidates: WR Daryl Jones
Aug. 7, 2009
By Alfredo V. Moreno - UNM Assistant Media Relations Director
The New Era, New Energy, New Mexico football team will have plenty of new faces making an impact on gameday this fall. GoLobos.com will take a look at several of these potential breakthrough candidates throughout the 2009 training camp. From rejuvenated veterans to enthusiastic freshmen, these up-and-coming players could be the secret the the Lobos' success in the first year of the Mike Locksley Era.
Today I caught up with fifth-year senior wide receiver Daryl Jones between a warm, sunny split squad practice session at the UNM practice fields.
Strong, physically imposing, with great athletic ability for his size, the 6-4, 211-pound Jones was one of the Lobos' most improved receivers this past spring. He thrived in his first weeks in the new offense and emerged as a consistent threat in the passing game capped by his five-catch, 84-yard performance in the Cherry-Silver Spring Game.
While Jones has appeared in 34 games (four starts) over the past three years, his career numbers (six catches, 72 yards) don't reflect his great potential at the position. This year, however, the Tampa, Fla. product is looking to change that. Though hard work and consistent focus Jones has his sights set on being one of the best receivers on the team and in the Mountain West Conference in his final season.
You looked like a new man out there on the practice fields during the spring, what changed?
You had to be pleased with the results you saw on the field.
What specific aspects of your game are you trying to polish during training camp?
I'm just coming out here looking to get better every day man and hopefully it'll yield results during the season. Endurance is one of the biggest things I'm trying to focus on. My mom told me that you have to endure `till the end and that's what I'm trying to do. If I can get myself so that I'm able to go 100 percent on every play then that's going to allow me to show my playmaking ability on every play.
A couple years ago you had a chance to work with one of the greatest wide receiver tandems in UNM history when first team all-MWC players Marcus Smith and Travis Brown were here. When they went to the NFL there was a bit of a leadership void, but it seems like you and fellow senior Roland Bruno have been working to set that strong example for the unit this year.
Have you been dropping some knowledge on the new receivers out here?
So we've got this new offense now. It's no huddle, it's diverse, it's put up big numbers and points everywhere it's been run. What do you like best about it?
You've got two young up-and-coming coaches working with you this year in J.B. Gerald and Aaron Moorehead. Coach Gerald helped lead his team to the FBS title game and coach Moorehead played in the Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts - what have those guys brought to the wide receiver group?
What attracted you to the Land of Enchantment and Albuquerque, New Mexico all the way from Tampa, Fla.?
How long did it take you to adjust to living out here in the high desert?
What's something you'll miss about living in Albuquerque if and when you leave town when your college days are over?
Sounds like you might have a future with the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, but I'm sure there's some things about home that you miss. What's one thing you always have to do as soon as you step off that plane when you're back home in Tampa?