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Former LSU dual-sport star Chad Jones takes a new approach on a different playing field

this is a discussion within the Everything Else Community Forum; Having the world at your fingertips happens to only a handful of the most elite athletes in the world. Getting it back after it slips away -- or least having it close enough to reach out and grab -- now ...

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Old 08-19-2013, 05:26 AM   #1
 
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Former LSU dual-sport star Chad Jones takes a new approach on a different playing field

Having the world at your fingertips happens to only a handful of the most elite athletes in the world. Getting it back after it slips away -- or least having it close enough to reach out and grab -- now that's a little rarer.

Chad Jones fully understands that as much, or more, than any of his athletic contemporaries on two different playing fields.

And the former LSU star isn't about to let his next and perhaps final athletic opportunity escape without making sure he has embraced it, and squeezed every ounce of potential out of his talented, but reconfigured, body.

When the door to professional football eased shut last spring, Jones wasn't ready to slam it shut on his secondary dream.

Jones failed strenuous NFL physicals after tryouts with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Saints, arriving at an important crossroads early in his athletic life.

"Giving up that football dream was hard, man," Jones said recently. "It was definitely one of the toughest things I've ever had to do because I had been working so hard to try and get back for 2½ years.


Cincinnati Reds rookie pitcher Chad Jones: ''This is my second chance, and lot of people don'™t even get a first chance like the one I had. This is a blessing, and I'm not going to mess it up.'


"In the back of my head, though, I always knew baseball was there for me because I still had the arm. The decision became pretty clear to me when scouts started calling me."

So, Jones redirected his dreams and turned to what he has often called his first love. He turned the page, picked up a baseball and started down a new path.

It began with a few self-monitored bullpen sessions, continued with a private workout with one local Major League Baseball scout and then an organized tryout at Rummel High in late May when several more scouts watched.

That day, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound left-handed Jones threw his fastball in the 88-91 mph range, and broke off several familiar breaking pitches that made him a late-season key for LSU in its 2009 College World Series championship season.

He flashed enough raw potential for a kid who had never devoted himself to baseball to garner free-agent offers from three franchises.

Instead of jumping on one of those, though, Jones gambled and submitted his name for the 2013 MLB Draft. That gamble paid off when Cincinnati -- one of those three teams and the one that held a private workout -- snatched him in the 9th round with the 285th pick.

That was higher than Jones was picked coming out of Southern Lab High in 2007 (13th round by Houston) or when Milwaukee took a flier (50th round in 2010) on him after he left LSU early for the NFL Draft.

"The Reds pulled the trigger a lot sooner than I thought they would," Jones said. "I really was expecting to go somewhere between the 20th-40th rounds."


The former LSU star has moved onto baseball after a nasty car accident derailed his NFL career.
With one pro sports door closed, Jones simply refused to stop looking for another one to open and his persistence paid off. He quickly signed a contract with the Reds and reported to their Rookie League team in Arizona in June.

On July 5, just over three years removed from a horrific car accident that could have rendered Jones forever hobbled or worse, he was back on an athletic field, albeit far from the limelight of pro football -- where he was headed when things changed so dramatically.

"This is my second chance, and lot of people don't even get a first chance like the one I had," Jones said. "This is a blessing, and I'm not going to mess it up."

Fate robbed Jones of that first chance in the early morning hours on June 25, 2010, on Carrollton Avenue when his life and promising athletic career took an abrupt detour through twisted metal and a mangled left leg that might have cost a lot of people their lives.

By now, that part of Jones' story is well-documented.

After a night out in New Orleans with friends, Jones was headed to his new home when the tires of his new Ranger Rover apparently got caught in the groove of a streetcar track.

An extensive investigation showed no indication of alcohol in Jones' system. It's possible he dozed off right before the accident, but he can't recall clearly exactly how the accident unfolded.

What happened was gruesome. Jones' car was split in two and the front wheel axle jabbed into Jones' leg through his left heel and pierced through his calf and thigh. A delicate and lifesaving 11-hour surgery followed after Jones -- in excruciating pain -- was extracted from the vehicle.

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Old 08-19-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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Re: Former LSU dual-sport star Chad Jones takes a new approach on a different playing field

I really really hope he makes it. Still whatever happen he has already won. He has his life and health and a beautiful family!
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:18 AM   #3
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Re: Former LSU dual-sport star Chad Jones takes a new approach on a different playing field

Good luck to you Chad. God Bless You.
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