Ex-Joliet Catholic star Malin Jones eager for chance with Wildcats
BY SETH GRUEN Staff Reporter August 13, 2013 9:41PM
Malin Jones ran for 4,087 yards and 57 touchdowns in his career at Joliet Catholic. | For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 13, 2013 11:14PM
KENOSHA, Wis. — Last season, Northwestern redshirt freshman running back Malin Jones was
introduced to the realities of major-conference college football.
One of the best offensive players in the history of Joliet Catholic, Jones might have seen immediate action in a lesser program.
But after going through camp and competing for the first time on a team with players who all were accomplished at the high school level, Jones redshirted.
His redshirt year taught him that if he wants to see time this season, he will have to prove his versatility in all phases. In addition to getting a good number of reps in the backfield this training camp, Jones has played on special teams.
“It’s just great having the coaches put me in so many different positions to have me succeed,” Jones said. “There’s so many places where I can succeed, and I feel like I can succeed everywhere they put me. They’ve never set me up to fail. Yeah, just getting on the field this year, I’m looking forward to it.’’
That’s not to say Jones won’t see time on offense this season.
He sits behind seniors Venric Mark and Mike Trumpy, who
already have established roles in the offense, on the depth chart.
But at 6 feet and 220 pounds, Jones brings a hard-running style that only will add to the depth. Trumpy has been the team’s runner between the tackles, but a run-first Wildcats team never has shied away from using multiple backs in that role.
The key for Jones will be keeping up with the fast pace of NU’s no-huddle offense.
“There’s got to be a mentality that you set yourself into,” Jones said. “And that’s the type of mentality that coach [Pat] Fitz[gerald] tries to instill in us every year, and that’s just to keep going and never stop. There’s a certain pace and
expectation that they have here, and it can be learned.”
NOTE: Junior safety Ibraheim Campbell sat out practice, taking a “veteran’s day.” At an individual player’s discretion — and provided it has been cleared by their position coach and coordinator — Northwestern lets players take a day off practice for every 12 starts they have made for the program.