Greg Jones Gives a Promise Ring to His Father

Hondo S. Carpenter

Greg Jones Gives a Promise Ring to His Father


You know him as the hard-hitting assassin that is the poster child of the new Spartan Nation under Mark Dantonio. Arguably one of the best players in the program, Greg Jones has a reputation as a bruiser. He has earned it.


Unfortunately for most people they will never know the off the field young man that is everything you can ask for from a person. Greg Jones came to MSU from Cincinnati and immediately made an impact earning Freshman All America Honors as a LB.


He led the Spartans to the Champs Bowl and delivered hope back to a fan base anemic from failure and tarnished from mediocrity that had clouded its illustrious past.


Greg Jones the player deserves every accolade that he gets.  He practices with such intensity, that he single handedly frustrated some upper classmen last season as a freshman when he practiced with the same intensity that he played with. Those are good things. Those are not who he is however.


I was privileged to spend several hours with his father while he was in California earlier this year. He introduced himself to me and it was a honor to speak to him and get to know him. I can say over the weeks since the game, it has been wonderful to become his friend.Â


We were sitting together and he was asking me general questions about his son. His prides shone as he listened to me relate things to him that Greg had done to get my attention over his time in East Lansing. I noticed the ring on his hand and asked if he had played ball. His answer floored me. “This is Greg’s Champs Sports Bowl ring that he got for playing in the game.” I told him that it was a beautiful ring. “Greg gave it to me and told me that he was proud to play in the game, but he promised me an even better one.”


His eyes filled with tears. “Greg is such a fine man, and I am so proud. A lot of people know him as a player, but he is a great son to me who happens to play football.” Greg is the only child of his namesake, Greg, Sr. and I asked him if he was fine with me telling the story of the ring. He has much more in common with his Father than the name, because his answer floored me.


“I would love to talk about my dad. He is such a great man. My dad worked two jobs to provide for me and my mom. My dad would have never spent money on a nice ring or nice things that weren’t needs. He took care of us. He always thought about us. My dad is the most unselfish person that I know. I love him so much and my parents are my heroes.” How is that for an answer?


Has your Father had any affect on your style of play? “I practice like I do and play like I do because my dad never was lazy and didn’t go to work. He never took time off he went to work. He worked two jobs. He showed me that he loved me by providing and loving me. I think of my dad when I am tired and when maybe I want to take it easy. I have a real opportunity here at Michigan State to play football and to get a degree. I owe my parents to do my best. I do it for them.”


I asked Greg about his “Promise” to his father when he gave him his ring. “That Champs game was real special. It was a statement that football was going to win here at MSU. I promised him a better ring because he always gave me his best. I gave him a ring and will give him another, but he did give me his name. He loves me. I can’t never repay him for being the best dad.”


Next time you see the one man wrecking crew known as Jones. Remember that his dad may never have won a championship on the field, but he is a champion father. Mr. Jones is a role model to all men of the impact that loving our kids can have. I will never forget the tears in his eyes as he told me about Greg giving him the ring. I also will never forget the tears in his son’s eyes telling me about him giving him his best.


Greg Jones, Jr. is a special linebacker. Greg Jones, Sr. is a special man. The Spartan Nation is blessed to have them both as Spartans.Â


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