Leroy Jones (gridiron football)

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Leroy Jones
No. 73, 68
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1950-09-29) September 29, 1950 (age 66)
Place of birth: Greenwood, Mississippi
Height: 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Weight: 263 lb (119 kg)
Career information
College: Norfolk State
NFL Draft: 1975 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 111
Games started: 90
INT: 3
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Leroy Jones (born September 29, 1950) is a former American football player who played defensive end. He played the majority of his 10-year career with the San Diego Chargers in the National Football League (NFL).

Jones played both basketball and football in high school, and continued with both sports while attending college at Norfolk State University. He began his professional career in 1974 with the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League (CFL), and they won the Grey Cup championship in his second season. Jones was drafted in the 1975 NFL Draft in the second round with the 48th overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams, who traded him in 1976 to San Diego, where he played through 1983.

Early life[edit]

Jones was a standout at both football and basketball in high school at Amanda Elszy in Greenwood, Mississippi. He led his teams to multiple championships.[1]

College career[edit]

Jones attended Norfolk State University, where he was the center on three Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) tournament basketball teams. He was named to the All-CIAA Tournament team each year.[1] As a sophomore in 1972, he was named to the Associated Press All-State first team, and was named to the second team as a junior.[2] Jones also played football, and he was named All-CIAA annually as a defensive end.[1] Before the 1974 football season, Jones learned he would be academically ineligible to play due to poor grades. He dropped out of Norfolk State and signed a three-year contract to play football professionally in Canada.[3][4]

Professional career[edit]

In 1974, Jones played for the Edmonton Eskimos in the Canadian Football League (CFL). He led the team in tackles and sacks that season, as well as in the 62nd Grey Cup championship game.[1] The Eskimos the next season won the 63rd Grey Cup with Bill Stevenson taking over Jones' left defensive end position.[5]

Having left Norfolk State early, Jones was not eligible for the 1974 NFL draft. In the summer of 1973, pro scouts had projected him as a first-round pick in 1974, rating him near or on par with Ed "Too Tall" Jones, who became the first overall pick in 1974.[6] Ruled eligible by the NFL the following year,[6] Leroy Jones was selected in the 1975 draft in the second round with the 48th overall pick by the Los Angeles Rams.[1] The San Diego Chargers acquired Jones from the Rams in 1976 for a future draft choice.[7]

In 1980, Jones teamed with All-Pro's Fred Dean, Gary "Big Hands" Johnson, and Louie Kelcher on the defensive frontline as the Chargers led the NFL in sacks (60).[8] The foursome was locally nicknamed the Bruise Brothers.[9][10] Jones that season had 11 sacks, second on the team behind Johnson's 17 12,[11] and was named an alternate for the Pro Bowl.[8] Don "Air" Coryell's Chargers teams of that era are mostly remembered for its high-scoring, pass-oriented offense. The Chargers won the AFC West from 1979–1981 and made the playoffs in 1982.[1]

During the 1981 season, Jones blocked a 35-yard field goal by Miami kicker Uwe von Schamann at 11:27 into overtime, allowing San Diego to drive for its own field goal and win 41–38 in the playoff game known as the Epic in Miami, considered by many to be among the greatest NFL games ever.[12][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Leroy Jones". hraashof.org. Archived from the original on January 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Four Men On All-State College Basketball Team Share Top Vote Honors". The Danville Register. Associated Press. March 8, 1973. Retrieved April 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ Nunn, Jr., Bill (August 25, 1973). "Change of Pace". The Pittsburgh Courier. p. 9. Retrieved April 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ Roberts, Rich. "Ram Draft". Independent. Long Beach, California. p. C-2. Retrieved April 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ Bacon, Dick (November 22, 1975). "Weather could be major factor says probable starter Jones". The Montreal Gazette. p. 29. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Christl, Cliff (January 24, 1975). "Defensive Lineman Top Priority in Pro Draft". La Crosse Tribune. p. 7. Retrieved April 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "Vet Snow Waived By Ram Squad". The Press-Courier. Associated Press. September 7, 1976. p. 12. Retrieved March 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Ex-Kempsville star among hall of fame inductees". The Virginian-Pilot. August 25, 2013. Archived from the original on January 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Grambling State University Loses Two Football Legends". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. August 11, 2010. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011. 
  10. ^ "No. 16: Chargers' best draft class". ESPN.com. March 28, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2011. The 2001 class was good, but the 1975 class ranks the best. San Diego had four of the first 33 picks in the draft, and the Chargers selected three defensive linemen that would form the nucleus of "The Bruise Brothers" and once formed three-fourths of the AFC Pro Bowl defensive line. (subscription required)
  11. ^ Smith, Rick (1981). 1981 San Diego Chargers Facts Book. San Diego Chargers. pp. 44–5. 
  12. ^ Svekis, Steve (November 12, 2000). "1/2/82: Chargers 41, Dolphins 38 Ot -- The Greatest Game Ever Played?". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on January 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ Bock, Hal (January 10, 1993). "It was a classic NFL playoff game". The Salina Journal. Associated Press. p. 29. Retrieved May 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]