NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Tre Jones, OLB, Central Connecticut State University

Tre Jones CCSU
Tre Jones the speedy outside linebacker from Central Connecticut State University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jonathan Joyce.

Student-Athlete Profile:

  • Tre Jones
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • OLB
  • 6’3”
  • 255 LBS
  • Hometown: Providence, RI

2019 Accolades & Statistics:
  • 2019 All-Northeast Conference Football First Team.
  • 2019 Phil Steele NEC All-Conference First Team.
  • 2019 All-ECAC Second Team Defense.
  • Providence Gridiron Club’s “Pride of Rhode Island.”
  • GP: 13
  • TACK: 58
  • TFL: 14.5
  • SACK: 8.0
  • FF: 2
  • INT: 2
  • PBU: 3
via @CCSUBlueDevils (Twitter)

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we all go through our day-to-day activities. For you, how have you been keeping yourself busy while maintaining the proper safety measures?

Well, since school is over now, I’ve been more focused on my conditioning. I’ve been trying to run on the baseball field near my house or in the hills. My trainer just opened his gym so I’ve been living in there pretty much.

Expectations will be high for the CCSU program this season coming off an 11-2 record (7-0 in conference) and an NEC Championship. What is the ceiling for the 2020 team?

We want another conference championship in the same way we won it last year. Also, we want to go deep into the FCS playoffs and win it all. There’s no ceiling for this team and where it can go. We have the players and coaching staff who want the same thing and that are eager to get back to work.

The expectations will be high for you personally as well. You’ve steadily grown as a player during your three years in New Britain, finishing fourth in 2019 in the NEC with 8.0 sacks. You’re still relatively new to your position, being a converted safety. What are your individual goals heading into your Senior season?

My individual goals for this season are to go First-Team All-NEC, be Defensive Player of the Year for the NEC, make the All-American list for the upcoming season, and get an NFL Combine invitation. I’ve prepared myself throughout my four years at Central and with God’s help, anything can happen.

via @CCSUBlueDevils (Twitter)

What can you tell me about the scheme that you guys run on defense and what your coaches ask of you?

We are a 3-4 defense based off of various pressures and coverages. Our job is to basically be physical with receivers and get to the QB in the passing game. The WILL linebacker position, in a nutshell, is a boundary edge rusher who needs to own the weak side perimeter. Essentially, it needs to be a “jack-of-all-trades.” He is used to set the edge, rush the edge, perform different pressures/ stunts/blitzes, and drop into coverage as well.

Are you someone who lets the opposing offense know when they’ve been beaten?

I am a very vocal person when it comes to my side of the ball, with my teammates and making sure they see what I see. When it comes to my opponents, I was taught to talk with my pads not my mouth.

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

What’s the funniest or craziest trash talk you’ve heard on the field?

The funniest trash talk that I’ve heard was when my teammate during  a game said to the guard on my side, “We bouta have a cookout in the backfield.” The same play, he got the sack and all I could do was laugh.

What’s the best lesson any coach has ever taught you?

My Little League coach said to me, “it’s a dog eat dog world, either make the play or sit there and watch.”

Who is the toughest player you’ve competed against during your collegiate career?

I’m gonna say, my teammate, Aaron Winchester. During practice, we would go at it during every period and it was crazy because every play he would try to find where I am and would make the O-Line slide to that side. Or during a read-option, there’s no telling what he was gonna do because of his elusiveness to get by people.

Who is the best player in the NFL today?

In my opinion, it’s Aaron Donald. The way he can single-handily control the line of scrimmage with his athleticism and power is remarkable. He’s versatile inside and on the edge, which I really try to emulate.

via @NECFootball (Twitter)

Are there any other current or former NFL players you model your game after?

Anthony Barr of course. The way he can destroy the O-Line in many different ways with his power, speed, and hands is something that I go over when I watch film on him.

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

“Never Settle.”

Let’s take a trip back to the first day of your freshman year of High School. What advice would you give yourself then, knowing what you know now?

Film, film, film! I wasn’t a huge film guy in High School, but in College, I learned that film is literally a guide or an outline of what you’re gonna do during this game. If my High School self learned that, then I would’ve had an even better High School career in my opinion.

via 87trevi (YouTube)

If I’m in New Britain on a Saturday night during the Fall, where is the one place I have to eat?

You gotta go to Bartaco in West Hartford, which is a good 15-minute drive.

Give me your pitch to an NFL GM. Why will Tre Jones be an asset to their organization?

I am a versatile player who can rush the passer in many ways. From linebacker to a standing DE while dropping back into coverage and covering a TE or HB. I can play roles in any packages in their playbook. I will and I am going to work for everything in the NFL even if it’s special teams. You will get 110% from me and more.

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