Greg Jones Named First-Team All-American

Michigan State

The 2009 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year leads the conference and ranks third in the NCAA with a career-best 141 tackles.

 EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State junior linebacker and 2009 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Greg Jones has been named First-Team All-American by The Associated Press. The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Jones leads the Big Ten and ranks third in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision with 141 tackles, the eighth-best single-season total in MSU history. He is the only Big Ten player listed on the first team.


It marks the second-straight year that a Spartan has earned a spot on the AP All-America First Team, as Jones joins running back Javon Ringer (2008). It also marks the first time since 1988-89 that Michigan State has produced back-to-back AP First-Team All-Americans (1988 – offensive tackle Tony Mandarich; 1989 – offensive tackle Bob Kula and linebacker Percy Snow).


Jones previously earned First-Team All-America honors from the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and


Jones ranks third in the NCAA FBS in tackles per game (11.8), tied for 23rd in sacks (0.75 per game) and tied for 43rd in tackles for loss (1.13 per game). He also is listed among the Big Ten leaders in sacks (fifth) and tackles for loss (tied for eighth at 1.12 per game). Jones leads the team in tackles (141 total), tackles for loss (13.5 for 68 yards), sacks (9.0 for 53 yards) and production points (282). He became the first Spartan to record back-to-back 100-tackle seasons since 2003-04 when both linebacker Ronald Stanley and free safety Jason Harmon reached the milestone.


The Cincinnati, Ohio, native reached double-figure tackles for the eighth time this season in MSU’s regular-season finale against No. 13 Penn State, matching his career high with 15 tackles. Jones recorded 2.5 tackles for loss (11 yards) against the Nittany Lions, including 1.5 sacks (6 yards).


He also posted double-digit tackles against Montana State (14), Central Michigan (15), Wisconsin (14), Illinois (11), Northwestern (14), Iowa (12) and Minnesota (12). Jones produced a career-best two sacks (9 yards) in MSU’s 24-14 Homecoming victory over Northwestern.


“Greg Jones is a First-Team All-American because of his attitude and motor,” Michigan State junior linebacker Eric Gordon said. “He’s always trying to get better. Another thing that stands out to me is his consistency. Greg seldom makes a mistake, but when he does, he gets angry and the offense better watch out for him on the very next play.


“Greg also possesses the ability to make the guys around him better. As a competitor, he helps drive me to be the best player I can be. When you play alongside a guy with his talents, you want to stand out too.


“It has been fun to watch Greg mature as a football player. He spends a lot more time watching and studying video than he did in the past because he’s always looking for an edge.”


Jones has posted double-digit tackles in 15 of his last 19 games overall, averaging 11.9 stops (227 total) during that stretch. A model of consistency, he has led the team in tackles in 22 of the last 25 games.


Jones has started 32 of 38 career games, including 26 consecutive starting assignments. He has 346 career tackles, including 36.0 for losses (139 yards) and 15.5 sacks (87 yards). Jones ranks among NCAA FBS active leaders in tackles per game (fourth with 9.1 avg.) and total tackles (ninth with 346). He already ranks among MSU’s all-time leaders in tackles for loss (fifth) and total tackles (tied for ninth). Jones has produced double-figure tackles 17 times in his career.


Michigan State (6-6, 4-4 Big Ten) will face Texas Tech (8-4, 5-3 Big 12) in the 17th annual Valero Alamo Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, in San Antonio, Texas. The Valero Alamo Bowl will be televised nationally by ESPN with kickoff set for 9 p.m. EST.



Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.
Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.