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Jarrian Jones' Former CB Coach on His Maturity | Coaches Corner

050224 Jarrian Jones Coaches Corner

JACKSONVILLE – He grew significantly, and the growth wasn't always easy.

When he thinks of Jarrian Jones, that growth is among Florida State University defensive coordinator Adam Fuller's first thoughts – and they're positive thoughts about a player the Jaguars selected in Round 3 of this past week's 2024 NFL Draft.

Growth and maturity defined Jones' recent seasons – and could define his future.

"I think he's really hit his stride right now," Fuller said.

Added Fuller, "He was pretty instrumental in our growth. But he definitely grew alongside it, and it was good to see it all happen for him.

"The last couple years have really driven home his confidence."

Jones, a cornerback, was selected by the Jaguars No. 96 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. A fifth-year senior, he played mostly nickel corner as a senior – and he may fit there immediately for a Jaguars team transitioning defensively under newly hired coordinator Ryan Nielsen.

It was at nickel that Jones flourished for FSU this past season, with a strong season capping a career that Fuller said was productive – if not always easy.

"You not only see it in his playmaking on the field, but you just see his personality," he said. "He's got a really good outlook. He really had to grow through it and I think you're getting a really mentally developed young man at this point in his career."

Jones (6-feet-2, 190 pounds), a five-year collegiate starter, transferred to FSU after playing one season for Mississippi State. He was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference honorable mention selection as a senior this past season – registering 25 tackles in 2023 with five tackles for loss, a sack and three pass breakups with a forced fumble and three interceptions.

He had five career pass interceptions, moving to nickel in 2023 after playing outside cornerback in previous seasons – and flourishing in a position in which awareness and experience are critical.

"We had some pretty good corners outside," Fuller said. "He was one of them. But his maturity and his ability to kind of be in the middle of things, to be a communicator, really helped us at nickel.

"His maturity inside helped him be the glue to that back end."

The FSU defense in 2023 emerged as one of the nation's best, with Fuller calling Jones' transition "part of the reason we played so well."

"He took a lot of ownership in the execution, which is important at nickel," Fuller said. "He has some ability to tackle. He does have length. He has solid ball skills and he obviously has legit speed. There aren't a lot of kids with his length who can run the way he does.

"He became a really good student of the game and a good communicator."

As Fuller saw it, what Jones experienced before '23 shaped the player he became. He transferred to FSU following his 2019 freshman season, playing eight games in 2022 before playing 12 games each of the past three seasons and playing through injuries at times.

During that time, Fuller said Jones matured into a player capable of leading off the field and producing on it.

"He played right away for us, and for a young player that usually goes one of two ways," Fuller said. He played like a young defensive back and he went through the fire. He got beat a little bit. As our program grew, he kind of grew along with it.

"He had to go through a bunch of things to get there. A lot of those things were failures on the field through injuries, setbacks, all those things. He wanted things just to be perfect. Once he got over the fact that they probably never will be, he just kind of focused on each day. That's when he gained a little bit of freedom in his game. I think we saw that all culminate this year with the great season that he had.

"The way he finished here, he really came full circle with his development."

It was a development that produced not only a mature player, but one Fuller said is capable of handing adversity and flourishing as he grows.

"He's kind of a grownup now," he said. "If he fails, he'll kind of give you a look like, 'I know exactly why and I'm going to fix it' as opposed to before he'd look at his hands and it'd be empty and he wouldn't understand.

"He grew up a lot. He's a mature person that understands everything's not always going to go his way and he has to work for it. I couldn't be more proud just to see it all happen for him."

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