Jonathan Jones has delivered the hits for Auburn
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― Jonathan Jones practiced in Auburn for the last time Saturday. The next item on his agenda was a bus trip to Birmingham, more practice over the next few days in Hoover and then playing Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl on Wednesday.
The senior defensive back has seen a little bit of everything in the last four years, and says his final game will be bittersweet.
"I've enjoyed playing for Auburn — the higher moments and lower moments. It's definitely been a great experience. I wouldn't change it."
Jones has been one of the steady players in Auburn's defense, with 67 tackles this season, 116 in his career. His six interceptions last season was the fifth most in Auburn history. He added his seventh career interception this year.
And this will be his 44th college game.
"Being able to win a SEC championship, to play in a national championship, everybody doesn’t get that experience and I think some people take that for granted," Jones said.
Jones and Auburn's defense will likely be put to the test by Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch who could be the first pick in the NFL draft.
"It being my last game. I just want to go out on a high note," Jones said. "I know a lot of the seniors do want to go out on a win and leave the program headed in the right direction for next year."
Jones has played through changes in defensive philosophies. His final game will be have someone else, Lance Thompson, calling the shots. His advance
"Embrace the change," Jones said. "It’s not always a negative. As a player it adds to your resume of what you know because different coaches have different philosophies."
Jones became the first Auburn player to accept an invitation to the Senior Bowl when he made that call last week. He has an eye on the NFL.
Chad Reuter, a draft analyst for NFL.com, has a snapshot of the defensive back. And a compliment, too.
"Though he's not the biggest or strongest corner in this class, I wouldn't try throwing his direction too often," Reuter said.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine