Larry Jones Signs Letter of Intent

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Larry Jones, accompanied by family and coaches, signs his letter of intent to play football at Virginia Union University. (L-R front row) Father Larry Jones Sr., Larry Jones, and mother, Lisa Cypress. (L-R back row) Head Principal George Parker, head coach Thomas Rotkowski, assistant coach Brock Custis, and Athletic Director Luke Brankley. Photo by Brennan Waldorf.

By Brennan Waldorf

Nandua standout Larry Jones has chosen to continue his playing career at the next level. National signing day was Feb. 5, and the senior decided he’ll take his talents to Richmond, to take the field at Virginia Union University. The Panthers have a winning tradition and went 7-3 during the 2019-20 season.

Jones was a four-year varsity letterman at Nandua, concluding his career as the only player from the Shore to make Division II All-Regional honors this season. The district defensive player of the year had an outstanding final season. Jones ended with 89 tackles, 65 solo tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, and one blocked extra point. Jones’ most memorable football game occurred this year, when the Warriors beat a talented Arcadia team at home for the second time. “We set the tone, took over the district, and got the title” said Jones of the game.

Jones, like most players on the Shore, played both ways and was inserted in several different roles but primarily saw action on defense as a defensive end while also playing offensive line. A leader in the football locker room, Jones was more than his numbers portrayed. His name was frequently heard over the PA system at games for outstanding plays. But the efforts the stat sheet doesn’t track are what make him a special talent. Whether it was setting the edge or blocking on special teams, the senior was always making a difference on the field.

Jones is the youngest of six siblings and credits coach Downing for getting the wheels rolling on his college recruitment.  The Nandua product will be playing for head coach Alvin Parker and expects to play defensive end for the Panthers. He already has long-term goals to play at the highest level of football but for now he intends to “compete at the next level and begin with getting a starting position right away,” said Jones.

He chose a full ride at Virginia Union, a NCAA Divison II school that competes in the CIAA conference, over Christopher Newport because “it’s the best fit, and a great opportunity,” said Jones.  The senior is undecided on his major, contemplating either accounting or engineering, but has plenty of time to decide. Until then he can be seen this spring on the Warrior track team where he plans to throw discus and shot put.