Keandre Jones is a family man.
The Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) outside linebacker received his jersey for the Under Armour All-American Game as part of the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance on Friday, and he rarely talked about himself.
“It’s unreal and it’s a dream come,” Jones told USA TODAY High School Sports. “I’m the fifth guy, I believe, to from Counsel to play in the game. It’s competitive and a great experience. I’m looking forward to going out and competing with my Md. crew!”
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Referencing Tino Ellis (DeMatha Catholic) and Dwayne Haskins (Bullis School), among others, Jones said that playing against those guys and the rest of his “Md. crew” this season has prepared him for the national showdown in Florida.
“You never take a team lightly in the (Washington Catholic Athletic) Conference. Week in and week out, you can’t sleep on any team,” said Jones. “It means the world to me to be an All-American, and it means I sacrificed a lot and the hard work in the off-season paid off.”
“I can’t believe it, honestly,” Jones said laughing. “It’ll hit me when I’m in Florida.”
This will be the first time since his sophomore year that Jones has played on national television dating back to his first year on varsity as a sophomore when Good Counsel took on Baltimore’s Gilman School. The linebacker better get used to the national spotlight, seeing as he’ll get plenty of it next year at the University of Maryland.
Jones committed rather early in December 2014, citing his mother as the main reason why.
“Honestly, the support of my mom and staying close to her. She’s my biggest motivation and I want her to see me play and not have to worry about that,” Jones said of his early commitment. “I did it for her, and it was kind of easy. I’d miss home so much!”
The 6-3, 198-pound linebacker said he’s “locked-in to Maryland, but we’ll see where it takes me after the coaching situation is worked out,” referencing the October firing of Terrapins coach Randy Edsall.
“In case things don’t go to plan, I’m considering Clemson, USC and Ohio State,” Jones said.
Wherever it may be, Jones wants a family environment, saying that though every coach may come with a different mentality, he’s looking to have a bond with the players and coaches on and off the field.
“I like to be around family and someone you can rely on,” Jones said.
But even though he loves to rely on his teammates and coaches, there’s one thing that separates him from everyone else on the field.
“Keandre Jones, my name,” he said. “I’m making my own name, making my own path. No disrespecting any other players, but I’m making my own and I’m trying to be the best.”
As an Under Armour All-American, he’s well on his way.