Oct. 15, 2003
By Angel Maldonado, FSU Sports Information
Tank. Defined in Webster’s Dictionary as “an armored combat vehicle.” At 6-0, 245 pounds, armored with muscle and ready for combat, Florida State senior tailback Greg Jones is a vehicle that can penetrate any defense and transport the pigskin through tough terrain. “Tank” is the nickname that was given to a young Jones by his cousin. “Tank” is what North Carolina’s Dexter Reid thought he got hit by when Jones sent him flying one way and his helmet another. When asked if that was the hardest hit he has ever laid on somebody, Jones said, “No, I think it just looked hard, that’s all.”
Even scarier is that Jones admitted that he has hit someone harder than his hit on Reid. During his high school years, Jones played a number of positions in addition to running back. He saw time at safety and fullback, but Jones found delight in playing linebacker. On one particular Friday night, a very misfortunate high school quarterback was on the other end of what Jones recalls as the hardest hit of his football career.
“The quarterback rolled out to the right and I came around the end,” Jones said. “He threw the ball but I hit him anyways. He was just lying on the ground…hurt.”
With his strength, vision and athleticism, Jones seems sculpted to play football. Along with the sheer joy of playing the game, football has also provided many opportunities for Jones, opportunities that he may have never received growing up in South Carolina.
“Without football, I’d just be chilling at home,” said Jones. “I’d probably be a truck driver. I wouldn’t be in school; I know that. Now, I plan to get my degree in sport management so I can be a sports agent in case football doesn’t work out.”
For now, he’ll focus on school, football and cartoons. You heard right, cartoons! Especially Gargoyles, Tarzan and his all-time favorite-X-men. Out of all the mutants, Jones likes Wolverine the most.
“What I like about Wolverine is his attitude,” Jones said. “If I could get one thing from him, it would be his ability to heal.”
Jones could have used that ability last season when a knee injury forced him to sit out for the remainder of the 2002 season. Instead of using “super human” healing powers, Jones had to settle for surgery and a tough rehabilitation process so he could be physically ready for his senior season.
Jones was also affected psychologically by the injury, calling it the “biggest disappointment of his life.” As the only senior starter on offense, Jones had to mentally prepare himself to step up as a leader. Even with the chance of being selected in the first round of the NFL draft, Jones is focused on the team.
“Last year, I was just doing my job and trying to do my best,” Jones stated. “Now I try to speak out about things and be more of a leader instead of being focused on myself.”
That leadership has helped the younger and upcoming running backs gain confidence. With a healthy three-headed monster of Jones, Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker, the running game and the offense is sure to flourish. Now, instead of a lone tank carrying the load, the Seminoles have an entire front line going to battle.
AM-What NFL running back do you try to mirror your running style after? GJ-Ricky Williams AM-What NFL quarterback would you want handing you the ball? GJ-Donovan McNabb AM-What is a running back's most important skill? GJ-Vision, to see the field and to change direction. AM-Who is the best running back of all-time? GJ-Barry Sanders AM-Who is your favorite running back right now? GJ-Priest Holmes AM-What NFL coach would you like to play for? GJ-Bill Parcells AM-What team would you like to play for? GJ-Dallas Cowboys AM-Who is your favorite football team? GJ-Miami Dolphins AM-Basketball? GJ-Minnesota Timberwolves AM-Why? GJ-Kevin Garnett. He's from South Carolina. AM-Do you watch baseball? GJ-Yeah, I watch a lil' bit. AM-What team do you like? GJ-Yankees AM-Who would win--Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson? GJ-Tyson in his prime. AM-Why? GJ-He's got that dog in him. AM-You don't think Ali would do him in? GJ-I think Ali is good but I like Tyson in his prime. AM-What is your strangest pre-game ritual? GJ-I don't answer the phone. I don't talk to anybody on the phone all day until after the game. AM-Are you superstitious? GJ-I used to be but not anymore. AM-Why? GJ-I think it's just a mind thing. AM-Who is the loudest guy in the huddle? GJ- Ray Willis AM-Who's the fastest guy on the team? GJ- Craphonso Thorpe, `cause he runs track. AM-What goes through your mind before you get the ball? GJ-I tell myself--"just make the play." AM-What is your favorite movie of all-time? GJ- Scarface. I like Al Pacino. I'm an Al Pacino fan. AM-If you could be one movie character, who would you be? GJ-Willie Beaman from Any Given Sunday. AM-Dream Car? GJ-Silver Mercedes Benz S 600 with 22s and all decked out. AM-If you could have one wish and you couldn't wish for more wishes, what would it be? GJ- Not to fail. AM-In what? GJ-In anything. I want to succeed in everything I do. AM-What's the most important thing to you right now? GJ-School is the number one thing I want to succeed in right now. AM-What's your proudest achievement? GJ- I don't have one yet. AM-Your biggest disappointment? GJ- When I got injured.