“Competing at COS is something I won't forget,” Jones said. “I've made some friendships that I know will last forever no matter how far apart we may seem.”
After a rough start to his collegiate football career, Aubrey Jones had a positive experience at College of the Siskiyous that helped him earn an opportunity to play the sport at a four-year institution.
Now, the redshirt freshman will continue his gridiron journey with the Roosevelt University Lakers based in Chicago, an NAIA program he recently signed with.
Jones, who played the edge linebacker spot at COS, is grateful for having another chance to play on the four-year level and for his time at COS.
“Competing at COS is something I won’t forget,” Jones said. “I’ve made some friendships that I know will last forever no matter how far apart we may seem.”
A 2018 graduate of Independence High School in Bakersfield, Calif., he first enrolled at The University of Arizona, a Pac-12 school.
Jones said he went to the school because an athletic recruiting service he used to help him find interested colleges told him he earned preferred walk-on status at the university.
“Once I get there the coaches didn’t even know who I was, or at least weren’t interested,” Jones said. “So, they told me I have to try out for the team as a walk-on and not a preferred walk-on, which is different.”
He tried out for the team as a walk-on wide receiver, but things did not work out.
Aubrey said staying at the university “wasn’t an option.”
“Without the opportunity of earning an athletic scholarship, being there was way too much money,” Jones said.
Aubrey deliberated if he wanted to continue his football aspirations or go back to a local college in Bakersfield.
“After praying about it, Coach (Charlie) Roche at COS wrote me an email. And that was that. I enrolled the next semester,” he said.
“Aubrey was a kid that one of my contacts in Bakersfield called me about last year,” Roche said. “He walked on at the University of Arizona and they did not keep him. He was looking for a new place... He had good high school film and good grades from U of A. It was a good match.”
Jones played last year for the Eagles in seven games on defense, including three solo tackles versus Shasta College.
Aubrey was also a member of the COS track and field team and competed in the hammer throw. He impressed head coach Katie Woodward, who was pleased to hear he will move on to Roosevelt University.
“I'm so happy for him,” she said. “He is such a hard worker and a wonderful young man.”
Aubrey showed enough potential on the gridiron in his time at COS that he caught the eye of four-year schools, including Roosevelt, which is located in downtown Chicago.
“I’ve talked to other schools, but I feel RU would develop me into the athlete I’m striving to become,” he said. “The coaching staff there showed that they want me as a student as well as an athlete which some schools I’ve talked to only care about athletics. I am extremely excited to go back to a four year and this time cost wouldn’t be a problem”
He was overjoyed when he found out he had earned a scholarship that helped cover nearly all the full-time tuition cost, so he would be able to attend.
Jones is set to graduate with his AA degree from COS in May.
Roche is pleased that Aubrey was able to earn a chance to play football at a four-year institution.
“He is a great kid and works very hard,’ Roche said. “He could have come back for another season at COS, but this is a good opportunity for him to continue on.”
At Roosevelt, Jones said he will play the edge/OLB position. This is the first year football is being played at Roosevelt University.
“The coaches say they have plans to use my versatility,” he said. “My goal is to be an NAIA All-American.”
Aubrey said that “As for football if God allows it, I will continue playing for as long as I can after my time at Roosevelt University is over.”
Jones's goal after his athletic career is over is to become a football coach at a four-year school.
Aubrey said he was “beyond pleased” to have competed in both football and track and field at COS.
He is hopeful he may be able to compete in track and field at Roosevelt. Jones said he plans to talk to the head track and field coach at the school about the possibility of him competing for the track and field team once he arrives on campus.