OU’s quarterback of the future didn’t blink as whispers of NCAA sanctions crescendoed to a roar in the Sooner state Wednesday afternoon.
His commitment to play football at Oklahoma remained firm. His respect for the coaching staff and players didn’t budge.
He was prepared.
“It didn’t bother me at all,” Jones, a four-star prospect from Artesia (N.M.), said of the penalties levied by the NCAA against OU. “The coaches had already told us what was going to go on through all of this.”
By the time it was announced OU would be stripped of its 2005 victories — among several other penalties, including probation and the loss of scholarships — Jones had just finished his accuracy drills.
Jones designed the drills himself — setting up trash cans for the long ball, hanging targets from the field goal net — in hopes of becoming a better candidate for the Sooner starting job as a true freshman in 2008.
On Wednesday, he didn’t even stop to watch the news unfold.
“There are three guys battling for a position this year,” Jones said. “If I want to come in and hopefully start my freshman year, I have to be focused in the offseason.”
Even as his future team took the whip.
Jones said he and his father — avid OU fans even before Landry’s commitment — weren’t a bit ruffled by the vacation of OU’s 2005 wins and records.
“I feel bad for the former players and the coaches,” he said. “But you have to think about the future and winning games.
“I think that’s what Coach Stoops is going to do.”
As for the “failure to monitor” charge, Jones is already well-aware of the coming changes in the OU football program.
The warning he received about Wednesday’s news was a hint.
The phone call he answers every couple of weeks is proof.
“(The coaches) check up on us to make sure we’re not getting into any trouble,” Jones said. “We’re supposed to make sure we’re spending time with the right kind of people, doing the right thing and keeping our noses clean.”