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May 15, 2012

Signees report fresh off state championships

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Auburn football signees Jonathan Jones and Joshua Holsey faced one last challenge before departing for college.

The defensive back duo, part of the Tigers' 2012 signing class competed in the GHSAA State Track and Field Championships this past weekend and went out champions.

Jones won three individual state titles in the 110 meter hurdles (13.69), 300 meter hurdles (37.47) and long jump (23-11). Jones helped lead his Carrollton High School team to their third straight team title.

Jones has now won six individual state titles, winning both the 110 and 300 meter hurdles in 2011, and winning the long jump as a sophomore in 2010. Jones finished runner-up in the hurdles in 2009 and 2010, and runner-up in long jump in 2011.

Jones had strained his quad earlier in the week and was debating whether to even take his last jump, as he sat in third place. He made the decision to jump and it payed off with a personal best.

"It was big. It's in the history books for my community and for the younger kids. It feels great to go out on top," said Jones.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Jones reported to Auburn on Monday. The thrill of winning a state championship, again, as a senior just days before beginning the next step of his life is quite a feat.

"It's amazing to go straight from high school to working out and competing at Auburn," Jones said. "But now I'll already be in shape as far as the workouts. Then in terms of flexibility, that's something they talk about a lot in college and that's all track right there. Coaches always talk about having flexible hips and hurdling, you have to have flexible hips to be successful. Hurdling helps in that area and playing cornerback."

Holsey earned his state title running the anchor leg on Creekside High School's 4x100 relay team, recording a time of 41.18. Holsey ran the relay with teammate and elite 2014 football prospect Evan Berry. Virginia Tech signee Davion Tookes normally runs the opening leg, but sat out with an injury.

"It felt good. We were expecting to win, it feels great going out on top," Holsey said.

Creekside won the same event in 2011. They haven't lost a 4x100 race in two years.

Holsey, like Jones, reported to Auburn on Monday and like Jones, credits track for preparing him for what will likely be a tough summer ahead.

"It helps a lot," said Holsey. "The college level is a whole other ballgame, but running track helps me keep my speed up. We do a lot of stretching, so it helps with flexibility also."

Through their success on the track, Jones and Holsey have formed a friendship. A friendship that will carry over to Auburn as the pair of track stars and cornerbacks plan to room together.

"We've become close friends," Jones said. "I watched their race and they are really good. It's a unique situation to have two elite track and football guys coming in together."

Jones and Holsey are two of nine signees preparing to report to Auburn this week.



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