Evan Jones cannot wait to team up with legendary MSU strength coach Ken Mannie.Â Jones says that on his visit to East Lansing, the Spartansâ€™ strength and conditioning coach made as much of an impact on him as anyone.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œIâ€™d heard of all his hard work and had been watching videos on YouTube,â€ he says, â€œand some of the other kids were telling me how heâ€™d just pack the weight on me, and I just love that.Â Iâ€™m excited to see what he can do to my body to make me that much better.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â It was not all talk either; Jones saw proof.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œTo be honest, I was looking at William Gholston,â€ he says.Â â€œSome of the coaches started telling me how heâ€™d transformed just since getting in there the year before.Â They were saying he came in like an outside backer and has just transformed into this monster.Â I canâ€™t wait to see what I transform into.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â At 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, this tight end is open to playing other positions if a need arises.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œIâ€™m playing in the (Ohio) north versus south game, and Iâ€™m going to be playing tackle, so Iâ€™ll do the best I can there.Â Iâ€™ve just got to take what the situations give me.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â On the south all-star team in that game, Jones will play with two future teammates: quarterback Tyler Oâ€™Connor and wide receiver Monty Madaris.Â Future Spartan Jermaine Edmondson will line up against his future teammates for the north team.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œI love the camaraderie.Â I think itâ€™s awesome,â€ Jones says before promising to not go after Edmondson too hard.
Ironically considering how aggressively he plays, Jones actually claims to not like hurting people. â€œI know I have a couple times, and I just donâ€™t like it.Â Â I know itâ€™s part of the game, though, so if it happens, it happens.â€
He attributes this strong character to his parents, who he says raised him well.
â€œItâ€™s all about how youâ€™re raised.Â Iâ€™ve been taught what to do and what not to do from the beginning.Â Faith is another big thing.â€
He says his mother is also a workout-freak.
â€œShe works out every morning!â€Â He says.Â â€œI think she could really kick my butt if she wanted to.â€
Surprisingly, Evan did not actually spend much time lifting weights before this year.
â€œItâ€™s actually been because of the recruiting process,â€ he says.Â â€œEver since I started getting recruited, Iâ€™ve lived in the weight room.â€
In addition to Coach Mannie, Jones says there are many things he was attracted to in East Lansing.
â€œIt was everything, the whole feel of the area.Â The atmosphere, coaches, facilities, the other committed players.â€
His style of play also fits in very well with the MSU offense.
â€œI like blocking better than going out for passes, so I like that thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ll be doing more there.Â If I end up going out for passes, thatâ€™ll be fine, too.Â My high school team was pretty run-oriented â€“ a hard-nosed team just pound, pound, pound coming up the middle.â€
With that experience and mindset, it is not hard to see how THE BULLDOZER will fit into the â€œPound Green Poundâ€ mantra Coach Dantonio and the Spartans live by.