Linebacker Christian Jones has made his decision to return to Florida State official, per a release on Seminoles.com. NoleDigest editor Emory Parker reported this news over a week ago, but FSU finally confirmed it on Monday night.
“After a lot of conversations and time thinking about it, I’ve decided to return to Florida State for my senior season,” said Jones. “A lot of guys the past couple of years have helped to turn the program around, and I want to continue to be a part of that process. I’ve always talked with some of the guys I came in with and we’ve always talked about finishing together and that’s also something I wanted to do. This is the best decision for me and my family. I’m looking forward to coming back, working hard, improving my game but also helping Florida State continue with the success we’ve had.”
Jones was the team's leading tackler in 2012 after making the switch to weakside linebacker before the season. His return will bolster a linebacking corps that could have been a extremely thin had he chosen to make the jump.
New Florida State linebackers coach Charles Kelly will now have a few more options with how the Seminoles line up in 2013. Jones and Telvin Smith are the only two linebackers returning with any considerable experience. Reggie Northrup, Ukeme Eligwe and Terrance Smith are also likely to challenge for playing time. It's possible Karlos Williams could make the move from safety to linebacker too after having an eye-opening performance in relief of Nick Moody during the ACC Championship game.
Jones will likely enter 2013 with some decent preseason hype, having lead a very good defense in tackling the year before. He's also likely to improve his draft stock considerably should he manage to stay healthy.
“I’m excited for Christian to return to Florida State and further his education, playing career and helping put Florida State back at an elite level,” said Jimbo Fisher. “I think his decision shows great commitment to FSU and great commitment to his future. We’re fortunate to have the leadership he brings on and off the field.”
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