Adam Jones knows a thing or two about being a college football star. Then known by the moniker, “Pacman,” Jones was a standout player at West Virginia, a player that stormed onto the scene thanks to his athletic, highlight-reel plays. Those plays also made him a big man on campus.
Now with the Cincinnati Bengals, right down the road from the goings on at Ohio State, Jones can see where Terrelle Pryor was coming from in some of the decisions he made and says Pryor shouldn’t be buried for making those mistakes. In fact, Jones goes a step further, saying that if someone would have asked for his rings and jersey when he was at West Virginia, he’d probably have done the same thing.
I don’t know if that’s the best thing to come out and say at this point, and folks at West Virginia are probably cringing a bit right now, but you can always count on Jones to tell it like it is.
Adam Jones joined 102.3 The Ticket in Denver with Chad and Peter to discuss what it was like being a star at West Virginia, comparing that to what it was probably like for Terrelle Pryor, what he would have done in the same situation, what is going on in the offseason with the Bengals and Carson Palmer and to give his take on the NBA Finals.
What was it like going through college at West Virginia and being a star on the team?:
“First of all you’ve got to understand a kid that don’t have nothing and you’re living from Pell Grant to every little check that you can ever muster. You only get $690 and that’s paying the rent. So there would be times that you would attempt to do different things to make sure that you’re OK. … You get to a point where you need a couple extra dollars and [Terrelle Pryor] shouldn’t be thrown up under the bus for what he done. It was a big deal to them but at the end of the day all he was trying to do was probably get some McDonald’s or something.”
What was it like coming from a humble background and then trying to fit in when you got to school?:
“He was the quarterback and I was a cornerback. I felt like everyone was watching me as a cornerback. If you’re the quarterback, you know everybody’s watching you. So, mentally, he was probably a little strikened because of the pub and everything. He went to Ohio State, that’s a little bit bigger, no I’m not going to say that because West Virginia is West Virginia. But being a quarterback in a situation like that, everybody’s watching. … He probably couldn’t even go to the grocery store without people saying, ‘Hey, can I get an autograph?’ It’s a really big deal coming from nothing to something.”
How hard was it to go through school when you know everybody’s watching you?:
“When I was a child I made foolish decisions; now that I’m a man, I make great decisions. I’ll just leave it at that. Eighteen, 19, 20, 21, 22, you’re not really focused on the big picture. Not the big picture, but there’s a lot of temptations at that age. … When you get older, you realize, dang, that wasn’t a good decision right there. … You can’t tell me, not one of you, can’t tell me that when you was 19 or 20 years old, you didn’t make bad decisions.”
But Pryor not necessarily being wrong, but breaking NCAA rules:
“I agree with that, because if somebody asked me for my jersey and ring, I’d have probably gave it to them, too.”
What’s going on in the offseason with his Bengals team and Carson Palmer?:
“If Carson don’t want to be here, damn him, period, point blank. I love the city of Cincinnati. His little brother is here working out, which is a good sign. But if you don’t want to be here, I don’t want you here. I want some guys that want to play and want to win, period, point blank and that’s the end of that discussion.”
His thoughts on the NBA Finals:
“Dirk is in my top five of all-time, but I’ve been following LeBron James since he was in high school and I’ve been a LeBron James fan, like a real groupie. … There’s no way that we’re losing this championship. We lost the game other night just to make sure we go back to Miami. We’ll win this game that’s coming up today and then we’ll win the other one that’s coming up. But I’m a real Heat fan and Dwyane Wade.”