U.S. Air Force Academy — With high expectations for the 2021 Air Force Falcons defense, one senior cornerback isn’t taking his opportunity to be back on the field for granted.
Senior James Jones IV spent a full year away from the Academy on turnback and enjoyed the time with family, even finding a new passion in the kitchen, calling himself the best cook on the team.
“I’m a big breakfast guy, so my stuffed french toast is pretty top tier,” Jones IV said.
While he may have found a calling in the kitchen, Jones IV is eager to return to the sport he loves.
“The drive that he has, the perseverance,” Head Coach Troy Calhoun said of Jones. “A guy that has a ton of leadership ability, he’s got grit, he’s got fight… someone that you’re happy to say is a part of your team.”
Jones IV said he hopes to have the top secondary in the conference, but also be competitive nationally. With a talented secondary, Jones IV knows time on the field won’t come easily.
“We’re all highly competitive. We all want to play,” he said. “It’s nothing that tears at the fibers of the room, I actually think it makes us stronger because we all have the same end goal and that kind of push that iron sharpens iron is what makes us great.”
Jones missed the entire 2018 season with injury and sat out 2020 on turnback because of COVID. Jones IV said it will be special running out of the tunnel in the Falcons season opener.
“I love football,” he said. “I love football as much as a love everything else. Coming from a fooftball family, it’s a lifestyle, so it’s more than just a game to me. Even practice I enjoy. I’m excited for sure.”
The Air Force Falcons open up the 2021 season at home this weekend against Lafayette.