Messiah Jones likes the idea of looking up in the stands and seeing his parents, and putting on his pads with his close friends.
The Kamiakin High School standout wide receiver, tight end and defensive end took all of that into consideration when he made his pledge to Eastern Washington on Wednesday, ensuring his parents will be within driving distance of home games.
Plus, fellow class of 2021 wideout Woodley Downard committed to the Eagles on Sunday.
“I knew I was probably going to commit, and once he committed, I was like, ‘OK, yeah. This is it,’ ” Jones said.
Eastern Washington coaches told Jones they see him as a tight end in college and added that his versatility could make him an asset on defense, too. Jones said he’ll play wherever coaches feel he will best fit.
“I’m a pretty big dude and once I get to college I’ll probably put some more weight on me,” Jones said. “They like how I can go and get jump balls and block well. I can really do a lot for them.”
Jones has interest in basketball and football, and considered playing hoops in college. But the 6-foot-6 post, who posted 21 points and 15 rebounds in a playoff game and helped Kamiakin reach the 3A state quarterfinals, came to a realization that isn’t applicable to most facets of his life: at the next level, he would be considered undersized.
That’s seldom the case on the football field. As a defensive end for Kamiakin, Jones walks up to the line of scrimmage with an edge.
“Nothing should be able to stop me,” Jones said.
Jones and Downard are two of Kamiakin’s returning all-Mid Columbia Conference selections who have made their pledge to Eastern Washington. All-state running back Tuna Altahir has not made his decision, and has received Pac-12 interest along with an offer from EWU.
But there’s still a chance the three of them will play together at the next level.
“That would be crazy,” Jones said. “Something we’ve been dreaming about since we were little middle schoolers throwing around the football.”