Austin Perryman

On The Plains with Jayson Jones: ‘Consistent and reliable’

AUBURN, Ala. – Defensive tackle Jayson Jones might not have spent his entire collegiate football career on the Plains, but he’s well on his way to leaving his mark with the program as he enters his final season with the Tigers.

Jones, a native of Calera, Alabama, started his collegiate career at the University of Oregon, playing in 13 games in 2021 on the defensive line. He recorded 19 tackles and two sacks with the Ducks before making the decision to transfer. Jones admitted that was far from an easy decision, but he also says that he knows he made the right choice in choosing the Plains as his final collegiate destination.

“Auburn was close to home, but really it was the people that made me want to come,” Jones said. “The fans have all been so kind and welcoming. When people say, ‘If you love Auburn, it will love you back,’ they are not lying. It is true.”

His interest in football began at an early age and has consistently grown throughout his career. At the age of 5, he first stepped onto a field and competed.

“My dad asked me if I wanted to play football and I had nothing else to do so I thought sure, why not?” Jones said. “I picked it back up when I was in middle school and haven’t stopped playing since.”

Jones credits his long-lasting desire to play football to the competitive nature of the sport, the ability to grow as a team, and the satisfaction he gets from his performance on the field.

As a player for head coach Trey Simpson at Calera High School, he was a four-year letterman and a team captain. His performance also earned him a top 10 recruiting ranking in the state of Alabama.

Jones99_20231125_FB_vsALA_ZB_0594AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 25 - Auburn Defensive Lineman Jayson Jones (99) during the Iron Bowl between the Auburn Tigers and the #8 Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Photo by Zach Bland/Auburn Tigers

Since joining the Tigers, Jones has made a mark in his two seasons as a consistent presence on the defensive line. He has played in every game since joining the team and has enjoyed each one.

A frequent starter at nose tackle in his 25 games with the Tigers, Jones has 48 total tackles to his credit over the past two seasons. A looming presence to the opposing offensive line, his love for the game has consistently grown.

“I love to go out there on defense and just hit people,” Jones said with a laugh. “I also just love the competitiveness and the teamwork you have to build and how you have to really trust the people beside you.”

Like a majority of Auburn football players, Jones not only has a bias toward Jordan-Hare Stadium as one of the best atmospheres in college football, but he has really enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd at night.

“Everyone should get the chance to experience a night game in Jordan-Hare,” Jones said. “I will never forget the night game against Texas A&M during the 2022 season. We had a losing record 3-5 at the time, but the fans all showed up and supported us throughout the whole game to help us get the win. I will not forget the atmosphere in the stadium that night.”

I want to be known as consistent and reliable. I hope my teammates say that if there was anything inside or outside of football that I needed, I could go to him with my problems.


Defensive Lineman Jayson Jones

After two full seasons on the Plains, Jones has had plenty of time to get accustomed to being part of the Auburn program and building bonds with his teammates and the coaching staff. But this upcoming season is the season he is most excited for personally. He speaks highly of his relationship with the coaching staff and players, especially the newly promoted defensive tackles coach Vontrell King-Williams.

“I think I have a good relationship with everybody on the team,” Jones said. “Especially Coach (Hugh) Freeze and Coach Vontrell. I talk to those guys a lot. Vontrell has really been a people’s person, so I am happy he got the job.”

Jones has a lot of confidence in the ability and the unity of the team this year following spring practices, and his expectations certainly reflect that. He wants fans to know that this team is ready to win.

“Really, we just want to win games,” Jones said. “I want to win an SEC championship and go off to the playoffs and win it all there. That’s my main focus. For this team, though, I want us all to come together and be ‘for one and for everyone.’ [During spring practices] we saw the whole defensive line play really well together, not just individually. The freshmen really found out what the thing is all about.”

As for his personal goals, Jones wants to prove that he can be one of the best defensive linemen in the country and is optimistic that this is the season he can do it.

“I want to be known as consistent and reliable,” he said. “I hope my teammates say that if there was anything inside or outside of football that I needed, I could go to him with my problems. That’s the type of team we want and the type of teammate I want to be.”

Jones’ collegiate career may be approaching an end, but he is confident his success on and off the field will continue. As a marketing major at Auburn in the Harbert College of Business, Jones has found success in the classroom as well and is scheduled to graduate in December.

“We dedicate a lot of time to football while on campus, but we have people around us to support us away from the field,” Jones said. “Whatever you put in, you will get out of your studies, and I’m looking forward to furthering my career in that area.”

But before he begins a career off the field, Jones has aspirations to take on a career in the National Football League.

As he prepares to play one final season with the Tigers beginning August 31 with Kickoff on the Plains against Alabama A&M, Jones has one piece of advice for younger players.

“Go to a place that is good for you,” Jones said. “The Auburn Family really means a lot, and I love this city. I wish I could stay here forever.” 

20240406_FB_ADay_Jones99_AP_0962AUBURN, AL - April 06, 2024 - Auburn Defensive Lineman Jayson Jones (#99) during Tiger Walk before the A-Day Spring Game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL. Photo by Austin Perryman