St. Frances football standout Jalon Jones, the state’s top quarterback recruit and an All-Metro first-team selection, is heading back home.
The rising senior and Florida commitment announced Friday that he was leaving the Baltimore school for Virginia, where he played as a freshman and sophomore. Jones will spend his senior year at Henrico, a school just outside Richmond for which he starred in 2016.
I want to thank Coach Poggi, the entire coaching staff at SFA, but I wish to spend my Senior year of HS with my family in Richmond, VA. I am grateful for every experience and I will always consider them family. Please respect my decision
"He had a great experience," his father, Michael Jones, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "He loved it. It's tough for him to leave because he made a lot of friends and did a lot of growing up."
Panthers co-coach Henry Russell did not immediately return a text message seeking comment.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound dual-threat Jones passed for 1,025 yards and 11 touchdowns and ran for 819 yards and nine touchdowns last season, when St. Frances rolled to its second straight Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship, outscoring its MIAA opponents by a combined 342-50 and earning a No. 4 ranking nationally in USA Today’s Super 25.
In just two years, St. Frances’ football program rose from winless in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference to a national powerhouse. MIAA teams have begun to drop St. Frances from their schedules. The reasons are a source of disagreement.
Jones, rated the No. 259 overall prospect and No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the 247Sports.com Composite rankings for the Class of 2019, has drawn comparisons to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who blossomed into an All-American at Mississippi State under current Gators coach Dan Mullen.
“Dan uses the quarterback in a lot of different ways, both running the ball and throwing the ball, just putting the quarterback in positions to make plays and put pressure on the defense, and that’s what Jalon does best,” Russell said in April. “He runs extremely well. He’s got great speed and vision. He also does a nice job in the passing game. He’s very accurate. He only threw one interception last season and that deflected off a receiver’s hands.”
Jones’ transfer is St. Frances’ second notable offseason move since the school announced it would pursue a national schedule, following MIAA schools’ decisions not to play the Panthers this fall. On June 8, Pallotti running back Blake Corum, a rising junior rated the No. 279 overall prospect in the Class of 2020 by 247Sports.com, shared on Twitter that he was transferring to St. Frances.