Gophers part ways with wide receiver Donovahn Jones

killme

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I think WR is one of those positions where there is a big difference between HS and college. (realizing that D. Jones was not a WR in HS....) In HS, a WR can put up big # based solely on athleticism - speed, leaping ability, etc. In College, a WR has to play as part of a system, and there is a much bigger emphasis on route-running. a college QB has to (theoretically) throw the ball to a spot - not just wait for the WR to run open. Also, in a system like MN's, the WR's have to block to support the running game.

As a result, when the Gopher coaches are recruiting WR's, they need to look for players who fit their system, and will be team players - not prima donnas who pout if their stats are not as impressive as their HS buddies who are playing in a different system. One hopes that the Gopher coaches are honest with the WR recruits about what is expected of them, and what they can expect while playing for the Gophers.
He was recruited and came here because he was told he could compete for a QB spot. When they moved him to WR he had a chance to embrace the move -- and the role on this team -- and realize that the coaches made him a starter because they felt he could be successful there. For whatever reason, it doesn't appear he bought in to the degree necessary.

Do you think the coaching staff isn't recruiting WRs who fit their system? Changing the culture here, trying to change the talent on the entire roster to their system, takes time. They took a few chances to try to fill some glaring holes for their system and this one didn't appear to work out. But, I don't think the redshirts have any delusions this will be a chuck it all over the place offense. They're the right guys.
 

Spoofin

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FTR- DJ4 came here happy he would have a shot to play QB. However, he readily admitted in short order he wasn't as good as the other QBs on the roster (insert joke here) and embraced the move to WR. At least that is what was said publicly ???
 

die hard gopher

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FTR- DJ4 came here happy he would have a shot to play QB. However, he readily admitted in short order he wasn't as good as the other QBs on the roster (insert joke here) and embraced the move to WR. At least that is what was said publicly ������
Yep, I doubt this move had anything to do with him being moved to WR, just how he was utilized as a WR.
 

John Galt

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I don't like losing D. Jones. He was a great athlete, and we need some upperclassmen at the WR and QB positions in order to improve in the passing game.

Having said that, he didn't improve this year. 11 catches and 2 TDs as a sophomore? Kill basically said the redshirted WRs would be starting over him next year, and since we have 4 of them that have been in the program for a year, it probably isn't a big loss.
 

MNfootballfan

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Take your pick...Wolitarsky, Fruechte, Maye, Hutton, whomever. Jones could run fast and that was it. Couldn't block well, ran poor routes, had poor hands, didn't high point the ball, had trouble locating the ball while it was in the air, etc., etc., etc. He was another Devin Crawford-Tufts or Troy Williamson. He had the potential to one day be the best WR on the roster, but that potential was nowhere near realized. He was lacking skill and refinement in virtually all aspects of being a WR. He played and played a lot because he is a very good athlete and our WR corps is lacking in athleticism. Like I already stated, he is a great athlete who is not even a mediocre WR.

If Wolitarsky, Maye, and Hutton are better than Jones, why did Kill and Co. start Jones over them 9 times this year? You said he wasn't close to being our best WR, he was easily our best WR this fall or 1b next to Fruechte.
 


Spoofin

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Can we all just agree that none of our WRs were very good in 2014?
 

Maroon92

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Ugh-- although he wasn't as productive as most people had hoped this once again really hurts our depth at a position that we are really weak at. The fact we only have about 3 receivers with any consistent catches is astonishing and next year we will have almost all unknown replacements for those departing and graduating.
 

MNVCGUY

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Ugh-- although he wasn't as productive as most people had hoped this once again really hurts our depth at a position that we are really weak at. The fact we only have about 3 receivers with any consistent catches is astonishing and next year we will have almost all unknown replacements for those departing and graduating.

This is my main concern with Jones leaving. If Maxx does in fact go pro we will only have 2 of our top 6 receivers from last year returning in Maye and Wolitarsky. There was already going to be a ton of pressure on the redshirt receivers to perform right off the bat but that will go up even more now.

Jones was nothing special as a WR but on a team with very few options at the position it is tough to lose one of the few with any experience. Here's hoping the young kids are able to get the job done. There are going to be a lot of unknowns heading into spring and fall at the skill positions on offense. Plenty of potential but little to no game experience.
 

EG#9

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I agree with those that said Jones was more of an athlete attempting to play WR than an actual WR. I was kind of disappointed that he didn't develop more in his second year at the position. I also agree with those that said they weren't expecting him to be a starter next year-I think he had a chance if he improved, but it certainly wasn't going to be handed to him. I also noticed Jones express some frustration with Leidner on the field (understandable) and he seemed like a guy who didn't exactly love blocking 70% of the time to get 1-3 balls thrown his way (and some were always going to be uncatchable).

I wish him the best in his next stop. He came to Minnesota because we said we'd give him a chance at QB, yet he willingly moved to WR as a true freshman. Obviously could have picked a better time to leave, but kids don't always make the right decisions.
 



jpraml

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It's posts like this that make me embarrassed for this board.

How small are you?

Did you say this ONE TIME while he was on the team?

No. You are a COWARD. Me meet in Temecula.

If Temecula serves beer, and you're buying, I'm in.
 


60's Guy

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You can't save everybody

It'd be nice if Jones had bought in and had a great attitude. When it is obvious just watching a game that someone has a bad attitude...that's not good. Jones is a great athlete but to play wide receiver you need to be able to "always" catch the ball. More important, to be great you need a tenacious, aggressive, mindset that any pass thrown your way you will fight for and somehow, someway make the catch, no matter the circumstances. Jones, completely lacked all of those qualities except speed and athleticism to be a wide receiver.

One aspect, catching poorly thrown balls: Maxx is excellent at this and hopes to be rewarded in the NFL for it.
I do recall Jones catching one low pass without traffic...so not never but rarely. But I recall several drops for Jones
on on target passes.

Doesn't address the lack of disciple in route running. Doesn't address timing. Doesn't address blocking.

This is clearly addition by subtraction. Hopefully, Jones changes his attitude, finds a better fit for his abilities. I believe his high school coach that he's a good kid. I wish him well. It wasn't working here.
 

corcoran1

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This. If by talent they mean fast then yes he was talented. His effort and ball skills were sub-par for a Big Ten receiver.
Pompous elitist is exactly right. Nothing hard work could not have fixed, but he thought physical gifts equals football talent, exactly wrong. We had two walk-ons turn into better wide receivers than Jones over the past five years just by being aggressive, quick and smart with none of Jones height and jumping gifts. Was not physically aggressive on the field. Was okay on deep jump balls, but did not run routes sharply to get open.
He was one of my favorite recruits, but he did not get it.
By the way, a wide receiver is only underutilized if he is not playing or is running routes so well that he is frequently open and is not getting the ball. Neither of those conditions were true with DJ.
 



justthefacts

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Edwards is fast. Get him the ball in the open field and watch him smoke the Missouri dbacks to the end zone. I'd like to see what kind of hands Berkely has and if he could be a duel threat in the offensive scheme. Why not let him line up and run some routes. It's not like he doesn't have a big brother who could help him with running some of those routes.

The problem, of course, is it's not simply a matter of will to get the ball to a guy in the open field. If it were, Cord Patterson wouldn't have been a massive fantasy disappointment and Tavon Austin wouldn't be nearing the end of his football career. There are more successful WRs in the "technically sound" category than there are in the "elite athlete" category.

ft21h.jpg
 

Gophigure

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D Jones booted for stealing teammates per dime $$ (a lot!)

Jones stole money from teammates in Orlando, this is not a disgruntled player who wants to transfer! He was booted for being a thief.
Save all your comments an theories about his reason for leaving, and ditto for the former coach from HS making comments.
Kill booted him for stealing. Period
Good!
These kids need to learn the hard way...he is lucky they don't throw him in jail!
(per "diem")
 

Rescooter

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Jones stole money from teammates in Orlando, this is not a disgruntled player who wants to transfer! He was booted for being a thief.
Save all your comments an theories about his reason for leaving, and ditto for the former coach from HS making comments.
Kill booted him for stealing. Period
Good!
These kids need to learn the hard way...he is lucky they don't throw him in jail!
(per "diem")

This is a new twist. I'm skeptical, but the suddenness of the "parting" would lead me to believe it was very serious.

I'm sure we'll be hearing more.
 


GophersInIowa

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Jones stole money from teammates in Orlando, this is not a disgruntled player who wants to transfer! He was booted for being a thief.
Save all your comments an theories about his reason for leaving, and ditto for the former coach from HS making comments.
Kill booted him for stealing. Period
Good!
These kids need to learn the hard way...he is lucky they don't throw him in jail!
(per "diem")

Interesting if true.
 

Gophigure

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Not speculation, this is FACT! No reason for scepticism.
It was not a small amount of money either.


This is a new twist. I'm skeptical, but the suddenness of the "parting" would lead me to believe it was very serious.

I'm sure we'll be hearing more.
 

gopher7

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Jones stole money from teammates in Orlando, this is not a disgruntled player who wants to transfer! He was booted for being a thief.

I figured it was something like this... A predetermined "mutual decision" would not occur with him flying to Orlando with the team, and then flying home before the game.
 



die hard gopher

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Burns did say he not only didn't get along with the coaches but even his own teammates as well so that definitely fits the narrative.
 


oleboy41

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I've seen nothing about stealing so I'm not going to speculate on any of that.
His weaknesses are well documented as is his talent. What I will say is that to this point we've yet to see someone transfer out of Kill's program and do anything of note anywhere else. The most successful guy I can think of is Harbison who's putting up numbers as a D2 RB.

This isn't to be a knock on Jones but he can and will be replaced. What he brought to the table was athleticism. That's really it at this stage in his career. That athleticism can be replaced by the frosh WRs who by all account are just as, if not more athletic than Jones and with better WR skills. The kid was basically handed WR reps as a true frosh out of need and hasn't developed enough to warrant more passes his way.
 

Rescooter

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Not speculation, this is FACT! No reason for scepticism.
It was not a small amount of money either.

My apologies regarding skepticism. We've had a few trolls come on here from bordering states (who shall remain nameless) that cause me to be this way. If it is fact, you just broke a huge story and good reason for his immediate dismissal. If this is 100% true; it's big and you deserve accolades. We usually find out the rest of the story weeks after and find out that Kill had every reason for what he did. His track record leads me to believe this was very serious. If true (which it's looking more and more so), D Jones is scum.
 

Maximus

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Not speculation, this is FACT! No reason for scepticism.
It was not a small amount of money either.

Please forgive us for the teensy-tiniest bit of skepticism when the messenger has one post (now two) to his name on Gopherhole. A thousand pardons.
 



DoubleAlum

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Pompous elitist is exactly right. Nothing hard work could not have fixed, but he thought physical gifts equals football talent, exactly wrong. We had two walk-ons turn into better wide receivers than Jones over the past five years just by being aggressive, quick and smart with none of Jones height and jumping gifts. Was not physically aggressive on the field. Was okay on deep jump balls, but did not run routes sharply to get open.
He was one of my favorite recruits, but he did not get it.
By the way, a wide receiver is only underutilized if he is not playing or is running routes so well that he is frequently open and is not getting the ball. Neither of those conditions were true with DJ.

This is an honest and friendly response to your post. It is not being written with anger, sarcasm or disdain.
I watch all the games as everyone else does on GH. I'm always at a loss how people say that "this guy didn't run sharp routes or gain separation", "that guy was getting beat by his man all game", "this guy wasn't opening up holes today", "that guy wasn't filling the right gaps today". How in the world is someone able to see all these things and have any clue what's going on in the game? Even if you're watching the game 9 times on replay, the cameras don't even come close to showing what all these different guys are doing. Even if you were at the game, and focused in on one different player on each play, the most you would be able to honestly comment on is about two plays for each of the 11 players on both sides of the ball. Even then, you would have missed most of the game and wouldn't be able to "follow" the ball. Would someone please honestly explain this to me?
 




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