Note: The following appears in the Syracuse football gameday program.
One could say that there is a lot more to Sheridan Jones than meets the eye. He is more than just the middle son of Patrice Jones. He is the product of hard work and dedication.
All of that hard work is starting to pay off for Jones, a Norfolk, Va. native who played at Maury High School under Head Coach Dyrri McCain. Jones graduated from Clemson in August and is now enrolled in the athletic leadership master’s program at the university.
Jones has always placed importance on working hard to achieve his goals, a work ethic that came from none other than his two biggest supporters, his mother and grandmother.
“My mom and grandma instilled a work ethic in me that I have today,” said Jones.
They impressed upon him the importance of hard work and what you can gain by being one of the hardest workers in whatever endeavors you undertake. That mindset has led to his success, both on and off the football field.
Jones was rated in the top 100 nationally by ESPN and Rivals and the No. 2 player in the state of Virginia. At Maury High School, he was a standout wide receiver along with his defensive prowess and was selected for the World Bowl in Mexico and the Under Armour All-American game.
Off the field, Jones graduated from Clemson with a degree in communication. As he pursues a master’s degree, he is poised to make sure that task is met with success as well.
“Obtaining that degree (in communications) was a milestone,” explained Jones. “It was a big accomplishment for me. I was excited to walk across the stage.”
It was not a surprise because of the beliefs that were instilled in him by his mother when he was younger. He recalled the fact that his mother did not “play” when it came to school, because it was expected of him and his siblings to attend school and graduate.
“His mom was very protective of her babies and didn’t ‘play’ when it came to school,” said his high school position coach, James Butts, about his mother.
Jones is the middle child who has an older brother (NYU graduate and filmmaker) and a younger brother who is on a baseball scholarship at UNC Greensboro. Butts stated that although Jones attends Clemson on a football scholarship, he is not all football, because academics always comes first.
Not only did Jones graduate in August with his degree in communication, he is also a two-time ACC Academic Honor Roll member (2019,21), and he completed a microinternship with Adobe in the spring.
A great athlete and person, Jones said that what he is most passionate about is being a P.A.W. Journey ambassador. P.A.W. Journey is a leadership initiative focused on the development of Clemson football scholar-athletes through personal growth, life skills and professional development.
“P.A.W. Journey is a great program where leaders on the team are chosen as ambassadors. You see a lot guys who are making plays on the field who are ambassadors. I chose to be a part of the program my freshman year to get ahead of the curve and put myself in the best position to succeed as an individual.”
Jones is a leader off the field by being a member of P.A.W. Journey and on the field due to everything he does in practice and on the gridiron.
On the field, Jones has been a key member of the Clemson secondary.
“He prepares like a pro,” said Defensive Coordinator Wes Goodwin. “He is a grinder and he is always in the film room studying, putting in the extra time on his own. He is also a great leader who is a veteran of the group, and he does a great job of pouring into the younger guys and bringing them along.”
Jones has played 42 games (15 starts) for the Tigers. The key to his ability on the field is the work he puts in off the field. One of his high school coaches saw him as “an explosive and quick-reaction athlete with an unexplainable hunger.”
One of the most important things that contributes to his progress is his mental well-being and starting out each day with a daily prayer to keep himself centered and focused on more than just football.
He has noticed changes in things that he does now as opposed to his early days as a freshman, including showing up at the facility early and leaving late to ensure that he is giving 100 percent in everything he does, all in an effort to continue to improve.
These days, if you are looking for Jones, you will likely find him at Allen N. Reeves Football Complex, taking advantage of every opportunity to get better as a student-athlete and person.