Heading into the season, the University of Montana wide receivers are expected to be one of the stronger groups on the field
"We welcome the high expectations. That was the thought a year ago, was we wanted to build to where people really though that of us, and they expected us to produce during games, and play well. We think we're to that point. We've had some guys banged up in fall camp, but I'm sure every team in the country could say that," says Griz
Receivers Coach Torrey Myers.
Their second leading receiver last year, Jamaal Jones is expected by many to have a break-out season, and is ready to take on the number one receiver role if Ellis Henderson is sidelined early by an ongoing illness.
"He's the leader in that group right now with Ellis being sick, and things going on there, so Jamaal is really the leader in that receiver group, and he's doing a really nice job of that," says Griz Head Coach Mick Delaney.
So aside from leadership and statistics last year, what makes Jamal so dangerous on the field?
"One thing that Jamaal brings to the table that not a lot of other receivers have is physical strength. He possesses that. He's probably our strongest receiver over all, and during the second half of the season he really had numbers that would put him in the top half of the conference, and put him at an all-conference level. He's made that jump toward the end of last season, and worked his butt off to be to the point now where he can continue to build on that," says Myers.
For Jamaal, his time at Montana has been a welcome change. He transferred from the University of Washington where he spent two seasons, one red-shirting, and the other on the scout team.
"A complete 180' When I was at UW on the scout team, I didn't have any type of leadership role, then I get here, I start the first year I get here, and now I'm a leader of the wide receivers, so it's been a great transition and I'm happy to be where I am right now," says Jones.
For all his success, and praise he's gotten from coaches and the media, he displays a quiet confidence while remaining humble and showing humility.
"It's definitely important. My mom always taught me to stay humble, she never taught me to talk or celebrate touchdowns, even though I had the one penalty in the last game," laughs Jones, " I just try to stay humble, that's my personality," says Jones.