The Daily Nole

56 Days Until FSU Football: Christian Jones Records 56 Tackles in 2013

FSU athletics

There are 56 days until Florida State football returns for the 2018 season. As part of the offseason, we’re doing a countdown that highlights players, games, and specific moments from FSU football history.

On Sunday, it was the 1993 FSU team dismantling the Clemson Tigers, 57-0.

Today, it’s former linebacker Christian Jones recording 56 tackles during the 2013 season.

Truthfully, there could be a piece on every member of the 2013 national championship team. But since this countdown is aiming to cover both the forgotten and the famous parts of FSU football history, today’s highlight goes to Christian Jones for his performance during that 2013 run.

Jones had been a starter since 2011 and returned after leading the team in tackles during the 2012 season. No one thought he was ever a superstar defender, but Jones was a reliable player who delivered powerful hits all over the field.

Christian Jones was responsible for two of seven Wake Forest turnovers in a 59-3 win in 2013. (USA Sports)

He flourished in 2013 thanks to Jeremy Pruitt’s defensive scheme. Jones recorded 56 tackles and a career-best eight tackles for loss in addition to one interception and two sacks. His best games were the two most important: Clemson and Auburn. Jones combined for 15 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and one sack in those contests.

What sticks out when looking at Jones is the sheer versatility. Jones is a general linebacker in every sense of the word. In that 2013 season, Jones played as a middle linebacker and strong-side linebacker, depending on the situation, in addition to switching between pass rushing duties and run-focused defending.

Names like Lamarcus Joyner, Timmy Jernigan and Telvin Smith will always be the first brought up when remembering how that defense functioned. But Jones had an important role in making sure the defense could do what it wanted.

It’s not surprising that Jones has had a successful NFL career so far. His draft stock fell after he failed a drug test at the NFL Combine, causing him to slip into the undrafted free agent category. The Chicago Bears recognized that the talent and versatility was still there, and that Jones simply needed to cut out the distractions.

From 2014-17, he started 31 games and combined for 260 tackles as both an inside and outside linebacker for Chicago. He left the Bears in free agency and signed with the Detroit Lions in March 2018. If he continues to keep his head on straight, Jones will have an extended career in the pros.

His 2013 season looks all the more impressive as the years go by.

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