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6'4 310lbs DT Aurther Jones

He registered 51 Tackles...17.5 were Tackles for loss

Right now Jones is a 3-4th rounder

Arthur Jones a bright light for Syracuse

August 20, 2008 1:40 PM

Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli

Arthur Jones had 17.5 tackles for loss last season.

Fall camp, like baseball's spring training, is a time for unbridled optimism. Even at Syracuse.

Sure, the Orange have won only seven games the past three years and have been stuck at the bottom of the Big East. But that's not going to get Arthur Jones down this preseason.

"Our attitude is so good, you'd think we went 12-0 last year," Jones said. "We're not looking at the past. We're looking toward the future."

If Syracuse had more guys playing at Jones' level, perhaps the future would indeed be brighter. The junior from Binghamton, N.Y., was one of the few standouts on last year's 2-10 team. He had 17.5 tackles for loss, good for third on the school's all-time single-season list, while making the All-Big East second team. And he did it from the nose tackle position.

"At a lot of schools, the nose tackle's job is just to take on blocks," he said. "I'm fortunate enough to play in this scheme, which allows me to make a lot of plays."

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, Jones said he put on about 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason, aware that he'll be the subject of more double-teams this season. With another year like last season, he'll find himself climbing up NFL draft boards.

His family helps him stay grounded and keep football in perspective. His father, also named Arthur, is a pastor, while his mother, Camille, works with underprivileged children. Every summer, she runs a camp for boys in which she teaches them life skills like how to tie a necktie or change a tire, and her oldest son comes along to help out.

"It's a good time for me," Jones said. "It's always the week before fall camp starts, so it's almost like a vacation after we've been grinding all summer. I like giving something back to the community."

The Jones family isn't just a bunch of softies, however. Middle son Jon is a rising UFC fighter who has a 7-0 record in his young career.

"I've seen a couple of his fights, and they're really entertaining," Jones said. "I think I get more excited and more pumped watching him than I do on the football field. It's intense to see your brother out there and know you can't help him."

Jones hopes the Syracuse defense, which allowed 34.8 points a game last year, has more fight in it this season. He said the players have grown closer, thanks to middle linebacker Jake Flaherty's leadership in the offseason. And he said senior defensive linemen Vincenzo Giruzzi and Nick Santiago look ready for breakout years.

Hey, it's fall camp. What better time for optimism?

"We've got nothing to lose," Jones said. "I see they have us finishing last [in the Big East] in all the polls. I want to prove everyone wrong. I want our team to shock the nation."

Im hearing that Arthur Jones will come out early if he has another big season

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6'4 310lbs DT Aurther Jones

He registered 51 Tackles...17.5 were Tackles for loss

Right now Jones is a 3-4th rounder

Im hearing that Arthur Jones will come out early if he has another big season

interesting prospect. Sounds like a good kid too. If he comes out early definitely worth a long look.

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