Utah trip a homecoming for Huskies’ wide receiver Jones

The sophomore from Provo is off to a solid start for Washington this season.

Washington’s Ty Jones reaches to make a pass reception against North Dakota in the second half of a game on Sept. 8, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Washington’s Ty Jones reaches to make a pass reception against North Dakota in the second half of a game on Sept. 8, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

By Lauren Kirschman / The News Tribune

SEATTLE — Ty Jones has already secured more than 30 tickets for Washington’s game at Utah on Saturday. At least 15 other people have asked for tickets, too, so he’s working on finding more.

Luckily for Jones, there are only two other players on UW’s roster from Utah, and they’re both true freshmen. That means Jones, whose hometown of Provo is just 45 miles outside of Salt Lake City, has a chance at those extra seats.

It also means he’ll have more fans in Rice-Eccles Stadium than any other Husky.

“It’ll be pretty exciting,” Jones said, “and I’ll probably be a little nervous for the game, as I am every game, but it should be cool to go back.”

Two of the people in attendance will be Jones’ Provo High School head coach, Tony McGeary, and his wife, Brenda. McGeary visited UW during spring ball, but Saturday will be his first time seeing Jones play for the Huskies in person. He’ll also be there to watch another one of his former players, Utah linebacker Chase Hansen.

“We’re just thrilled,” McGeary said by phone on Wednesday. “We’ll be pulling for both kids.”

Coming out of high school, Jones was a four-star recruit considered the No. 5 player in Utah and the No. 34 wide receiver in the country by 247Sports.com. His list of offers included Ohio State, Oregon and Stanford.

He originally committed to Utah in July 2015, but decommitted in March 2016. Two months later, he decided he wanted to come to UW. McGeary remembers UW’s coaches doing the best job recruiting Jones and proving they wanted him.

For Jones, playing the school he nearly attended is always a strange experience.

“It’s definitely weird because I can look to the sideline and see all those coaches that personally recruited me and I was talking to for all those years,” he said. “We’re definitely going to be talking some smack, I’d assume. It’ll be exciting.”

When it came to Jones choosing a school, academics played as big a role as anything else. During the recruiting process, McGeary often told Jones to make sure he did the work investigating each colleges’ academics.

UW head coach Chris Petersen recalled Jones repeatedly bringing up the subject during his recruiting trips.

“Another guy who’s put his money where his mouth is in terms of how he is as a student and how focused and how hard he works here,” Petersen said. “It’s awesome to see.”

Jones said he was impressed with how heavily UW’s coaching staff emphasized life after football. The culture and family environment appealed to him, as did the opportunity to make connections that will help his career.

“He knows in long term that his education is the most important thing,” McGeary said. “When (football) is over, he’ll have his education to fall back on.”

Jones plans to apply to Washington’s business school and then, whenever his playing career ends, enter the commercial real estate field. But before Jones switches paths, he has a promising football career in front of him, one that could potentially stretch beyond college.

After playing in 11 games as a true freshman, Jones is off to a solid start as a sophomore. He caught three passes for 77 yards against Auburn and had four receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns against North Dakota.

“Sky’s the limit,” McGeary said. “He’s got a lot of upside. If he has that dedication and desire to go to the next level, I think he’ll certainly be able to attain it. At the same time, he’s not banking on that insofar as he’s taking whole advantage of the academics.”

Jones said he feels more comfortable with the offense this season, which has allowed him to loosen up and concentrate on making plays. He’s been making steady progress, said Petersen, who also praised Jones’ business-like attitude in practice.

“He’s got a great vibe to him at all times,” Petersen said. “He just really, really cares. … He’s still figuring out how to use all these techniques and all these type of things. He’s getting bigger and stronger and faster.

“So, it’s exciting, because he’s going to continue to get better and he’s going to do that because of how he approaches his day.”

That’s not a surprise to McGeary, who knows Jones is often the first one to arrive at practice and the last one to leave. When players are that talented in high school, McGeary said, they often don’t want to put in the work.

That was never an issue with Jones.

“He continued to work on the things he needed to work on to improve and get better each week,” McGeary said. “We could see steady progress ever since he was a sophomore to a senior. Each year, he’s willing to work on the things he needed to do.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Evergreen Speedway remains closed due the stay-at-home order while NASCAR will run it's first race since the pandemic began on Sunday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Community roundup: Evans tops podium at Mark Galloway Shootout

Also, EvCC athletes named All-American, Tulalip native signs with MLB organization and more.

Dallas Wings' Kayla Thornton, front left, and Marina Mabrey, right, defend as Phoenix Mercury center Tina Charles (31) shoots in the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Storm sign former MVP Tina Charles

The 33-year-old center joins a roster that now has 4 former No. 1 overall picks.

Seattle Mariners' Jessie Winker hits a two-run double off Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Felix Bautista during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Winker hit go-ahead double in 8th, Mariners one-hit Orioles

Robbie Ray, Diego Castillo and Paul Sewald combine on the shutout in a 2-0 victory.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox surrender 4 homer runs in loss to Emeralds

All six of the game’s runs came on home runs.

Seattle Seahawks running back DeeJay Dallas (31), wide receiver Cade Johnson (88), and wide receiver Aaron Fuller (13) walk off the field after NFL football practice Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seahawks announce training camp registration date for fans

Fans must register through the team’s website starting Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Isaiah Campbell
AquaSox start season’s second half on high note

Everett misses out on its first chance to clinch a playoff spot, but the surging Sox are 11-5 over their past 16 games.

Edmonds-Woodway's Eddy Olson, left, and Shorecrest's Mason Dougherty jump for a header Tuesday evening at Shoreline Stadium in Shoreline, Washington on May 3, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022 All-Area high school boys soccer teams

A look at the top prep boys soccer players in the area this spring.

Caden Kaasa, the 2022 Boys Soccer Player of the Year, stands on his home turf Friday, June 24, 2022, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s Boys Soccer Player of the Year: Caden Kaasa

The Monroe senior scored a school-record 29 goals and led the Bearcats to a third-place finish at state.

Kansas City Royals' Carlos Santana hits a two-run single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics Sunday, June 26, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Mariners acquire Santana, cash from Royals for 2 young pitchers

The switch-hitting slugger is batting just .216 but has been heating up in June.

Most Read