Naquan Jones declares for the 2021 NFL Draft

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Jacob Slade And Naquan Jones try to stop the Rutgers rushing attack/ Photo Credit: Ian Gilmour WDBM

Michael Markoch, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING In a season riddled by COVID-19, every player in college sports this season was granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA. However, for Michigan State fifth-year senior defensive tackle Naquan Jones, the extra year of eligibility will go unused;  Jones announced on Wednesday that he would choose to forgo his sixth year of eligibility and enter next year’s NFL Draft.

In a statement on his Twitter, Jones said how it has always been a goal of his to play in the NFL. 

“Playing professional football has always been my ultimate goal, and passion and Michigan State University has put me in the best position to make that possible,” Jones said in the statement.

Since coming to MSU as a freshman in 2016 out of Evanston, Illinois, Jones has racked up 78 tackles, three sacks, and one fumble recovery while appearing in 39 career games. This season, in a more expanded role, Jones has compiled 24 tackles, one fumble recovery and one pass deflection.

Naquan Jones celebrates against Michigan/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Jones also thanked all of his coaches, teammates, and the Michigan State community and fans for helping him get to the point where he felt comfortable making this decision. 

“As I enter the next journey of my life, I want everyone to know that I will FOREVER bleed green and do my best to positively represent Spartans,” Jones said. “I am thankful for all of the amazing memories.”

The senior defensive tackle joins MSU cornerback Shakur Brown in entering the NFL Draft. With one last game against Maryland,  if Jones chooses to play, it will most likely be his last time suiting up for the Spartans.  

MSU has had at least one player drafted every year since 1941, which is one of the longest streaks in the nation.