Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, N.Y.) offensive guard Matthew Jones has no problem admitting that there was “absolutely” a time that he never thought this day would come.
At 13, Jones played quarterback and had his confidence dashed from naysayers who often reminded him that he shouldn’t be under center.
The following year he went to Eramus Hall where they switched him over to the offensive line and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I picked up the position right away,” said Jones, who is ranked No. 19 overall in the ESPN 300. “It was the best move of my life.”
That never felt more real than it did Tuesday when the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance came to his school and presented him his honorary jersey for the Under Armour All-America Game, which is scheduled for Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. and will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. EST.
“This feels great, it’s such an honor,” said Jones, who committed to Ohio State back in June. “Not everyone is blessed with this opportunity. I had so many people that would just doubt everything I did and to look to where I’m at now it’s really big for me.”
This year marks the 11th anniversary of the game, which has produced 160 alumni who have been selected in the NFL Draft.
“I know that there are so many great players who have played in this game so to be another one of the names to be in this game is great,” Jones said. “I want to be another one of the players that goes on to do big things.”
So far this season, Jones and Dutchmen have done just that, knocking off Curtis (Staten Island, N.Y.) last week. Eramus Hall will face New Utretcht (Brooklyn, N.Y.) on Friday.
“It’ll be a fun game because they’re here in Brooklyn with us,” Jones said. “We just take it one game at a time because our goal is to win states. I think if we’re able to come together and play as a team every week we can get it done. Right now, thought, I’m just enjoying this jersey. I think me and my family will go out and celebrate this one tonight. Pizza sounds good. I think we’ll probably go to Tony’s Pizza. That’s the best.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY