Butch Jones announced at his press conference Monday that junior offensive lineman Jack Jones has decided to end his football career due to ongoing issues with his neck and shoulder.
“He’s had some recurring neck and shoulder injuries,” Butch Jones said, “and after meeting with doctors, everyone felt that it was in his best interest that he would no longer play football. Obviously, we hurt for Jack. We hurt for his great family. We’ll be there for support, and he’ll continue to be a member of this football team in moving forward.”
This is terrible news for Jones, who was a 4-star prospect in the Class of 2015 and who started seven games and played 18 in his first two seasons before playing intermittently this fall. He started the first three games at left guard, but missed the last two as he sought second and third opinions about his injury status and future with football.
It’s also terrible news for a struggling offensive line, who now has lost Jones forever to injury, Venzell Boulware forever to transfer, and Chance Hall this entire season to injury. The unit will also be without Brett Kendrick, Jashon Robertson, and Coleman Thomas after this season due to graduation.
That leaves a couple of highly-touted returning players in Drew Richmond and Trey Smith, along with a handful of other guys, but the unit is once again sorely lacking in numbers. There are three offensive lineman commits so far in this year’s recruiting class, including 5-star Cade Mays, but with the turmoil in the program and the unknown future for Butch Jones, many are justifiably concerned about the program’s ability to turn those commitments into letters of intent. We’ll just have to see how it all plays out.
Most importantly, though, best wishes to Jack Jones. Good luck, young man. I hope you find great success and joy in whatever lies ahead.