Back in 2008 the gang here at VandyPride conducted some interviews from some notable competitors in the SEC. Terrence Jones was a linebacker at Alabama under Mike Shula. We talked to Terrance about his time in Tuscaloosa and playing in the SEC.
Terrence, thanks for talking to us today. Tell us what you’ve been up to lately?
Lately I’ve been finishing up my degree at the U.A. I graduate in August. I’m considering following Joe Kine to Texas A&M to be a graduate assistant to him if I don’t make any football team whether its the NFL, AFL, Canadian, or AAFL.
Tell us a little about the AAFL.
The AAFL is a football league comprised of former Division 1 athletes who have recieved a four year degree. It’s different from the NFL because it will be played in the spring time.
Why did you decide to come to Alabama? Surely you had other schools pursuing you what was special about Tuscaloosa?
I came to Alabama for a few reasons. One reason was that I was going to have the opportunity to play in front of my family, friends, and people who have followed my career through high school. Secondly because of the rich tradition of playing at the University of Alabama. Alabama always had a reputation of producing pretty good linebackers and that also lured me to stay home. Thirdly, I just wasn’t an Auburn fan. Auburn may have recruited me the hardest. I tried to convince myself that Auburn was the place for me but my heart was with Alabama. I had pretty much every school in the SEC after me and big schools from other conferences but Alabama was the place for me. Finally, one of my best friend at the time Leron McClain also was going to Alabama. We had been playing together since the 8th grade and I thought it would be cool to play college together also.
What are you most proud of from your time at Alabama?
I am most proud of the fact that I helped to maintain the football program. I came in at a time when we were going through so much. I had gotten recruited by Fran, committed to Price, and played for Shula. Although our record wasn’t good like we would’ve hoped. I am proud to say I played at the University of Alabama.
Do you keep in touch with your former teammates?
I keep in touch with a few of the guys on a regular basis. I talk to Demeco Ryans, Freddie Roach, and Juwan Simpson like everyday. Ken Darby calls whenever he is in town. I ran into Leron the other day in the mall. By me still being in school here i am able to be with the guys who signed with me but redshirted like Matt Cadell, Demarcus Waldrop, Tyrone Prothro, also a couple younger guy like DJ Hall,Antoine Caldwell. Lionel Mitchell and Nick Walker. I developed many friendships with alot of guys on the team. Many of us became like brothers. We did a lot of things together. I guess you can say I’m just a cool guy that everyone likes.
What did you think of Alabama’s decision to schedule Hawaii as it’s last game in 2003 since we couldn’t go to a bowl game?
I thought by scheduling Hawaii was a good idea. It gave us players the opportunity to go to Hawaii first of all and the chance to make something out of a miserable season.
I’d like to ask you about some of the games you played in. You were there for Prothro’s infamous catch against Southern Miss. in 2005 What did you think when you saw it that night?
When I saw Prothro’s catch I said “unbelievable, he is the real deal”. It’s the best catch I have ever seen.
Also in 2005, your junior year we crushed #3 Florida at home 31-3. What did that game mean to you?
That Florida game made our season. I knew when we beat them that we had a pretty good team. That was by far to me the best Bryant Denny atmosphere I have ever played in.
A few weeks later was the huge game game at home against UT. I remember UT was about to score and then all of the sudden their fulback fumbled the ball out of the end zone. What were you thinking as you watched that unfold in front of you?
Watching them drive the ball down there about to score I was thinking “man here go our season”. Then Roman goes and knocked the ball loose and it was crazy. I couldnt believe it.
The LSU overtime game that year was heartbreaking. You actually came off the bench and had pretty good game. What do you remember about playing against JeMarcus Russell that afternoon?
I was pumped for this game. Coach Kines had said it was going to take everybody and he looked right at me when he said it. I just remember him sending me on a blitz every play. I got to JaMarcus a couple of times. The tackle held me a few times but it never got called. We were one play away from winning that game.
Your senior year you had a big game against Vandy. For some reason Vandy always plays us close. Do you remember what you were thinking when Tiffin kicked that field goal with a few seconds left to win the game?
Yeah Vandy always plays us close for some reason. Vandy had a pretty good team and that game came down to the wire. I was holding my breathe hoping that Tiffin would nail it for us. It was a big win for us. Glad that Tiffin was able to pull it out.
What do you remember about the Bowl game with Oklahoma State? Coming back from 14 down in the 4th quarter to tie it I was sure we were going to win.
This is one game that I hate the most and blame myself. I went on the blitz the running back chipped me and then rolled out and caught the screen. I couldn’t get to him when he chipped me then when I was finally going to get him a lineman came and cut me. I took this loss personal. It was the first time when I felt like I caused us the game.
Thanks again Terrence, is there anything else you’d like to say to the Crimson Tide fans out there?
I want them to not look at the 2003-2006 seasons as failures. There were a lot of young men who loved Alabama and put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into that program. We gave it all we had.