Trio of Hornets finds NFL homesPublished 11:38am Monday, September 2, 2013
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – A trio of former Alabama State Hornets are preparing for the upcoming 2013 NFL season.
Offensive tackle Terren Jones made the Atlanta Falcons roster, while quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is set to be the backup signal caller for the Seattle Seahawks. Greg Jenkins, who switched positions from quarterback to receiver, is on the practice squad with the Oakland Raiders.
Jones, a Fort Walton Beach, Fla. native, made the team this past weekend after roster were cut down to 53 players. A three-time All-SWAC performer and an AFCA All-American for Alabama State, Jones signed as a rookie free agent with the Falcons in late April.
“It was a great feeling knowing I’d made the final cut,” Jones said Sunday afternoon. “But now it’s time to turn the page and keep moving forward. You can’t get complacent; you have to keep fighting for your job year round. It’s not as easy as making the team.”
Excited about the next phase of his career as a professional athlete, Jones looked to veterans Justin Blalock (guard), Sam Baker (tackle) and Garrett Reynolds (guard) for advice.
“The camp and preseason experience gives you a chance to be with a group of guys and get close to them as a team,” he said. “They had their highs and lows; it’s a humbling experience. It’s a lot like college, but at a much higher level; you’re practicing and in meetings all day.
“Preseason is always good because it gives you some exposure. You get to put your work on film and hope for the best,” he continued. “Blalock, Baker and Reynolds were really cool during all of this. They have been in the system for a while and were really good about answering questions and helping me whenever I didn’t understand something.”
In spite of being the “new kid on the block,” Jones said his time at ASU helped him trudge through.
“I went in with a small chip on my shoulder,” he said. “I’m not a chump; I’m as tough as anybody else out there. That’s what playing in the SWAC and at Alabama State does for you.”
Returning to Montgomery for the Hornets’ season opener against Jacksonville State, it was only the team’s second game in the stadium which opened Thanksgiving Day.
“I was a little jealous that I only got to play in the new stadium one time, on Turkey Day,” he joked.
Jackson, in his second stint with the Seahawks, completed 26 of 36 passes for 357 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason while rushing nine times for 29 yards. Jackson led Alabama State to the SWAC title in 2004.
Jenkins, who played two seasons for the Hornets as a starting quarterback in 2011 and 2012, moved to wide receiver in January while beginning NFL workouts. This past preseason, Jenkins caught five passes for 47 yards, averaged 11.5 yards on a pair of punt returns, and averaged 37.5 yards on two kickoff returns.