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January 9, 2013
The game of football continues to play on for former Rutgers cornerback Brandon Jones. He is not yet two weeks removed from his final game as a Scarlet Knight and he is already back on the practice field gearing up for Friday night's 2013 Casino Del Sol All-Star game in Tucson, Ariz.
The game will air live Friday night at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN 3.
Jones is now in the midst of a week of practice in which he takes part in daily battles against his offensive counterparts on the Eastern team.
"We were in full pads [Tuesday] and on Monday we were in shells," Jones said. "We get out there and get warmed up. We do indy's for about ten, fifteen minutes and then we go straight to one-on-one's. Then we go 7-on-7 and then we have a team period. It's good work and a lot of reps. You see where you're at with some of the best players around the country. It's a great experience."
Jones is also getting to meet with NFL scouts as each team has representatives out in Tucson.
"I talked to about ten teams already," Jones said. "And I'm going to talk to more as the week goes on. It's been real good, a real positive experience talking to the scouts and having them see me play."
Jones arrived on Sunday and was joined on Monday by Rutgers teammate Tim Wright, who will also participate in Friday's game.
Heading into the game, health is not a concern for Jones, who battled back from a leg injury suffered in the regular season finale against Louisville. He came back and started his 26th straight game against Virginia Tech in the 2012 Russell Athletic Bowl in which he intercepted two passes.
"It's not 100 percent, but I'm good," Jones said of his leg. "I'm out here running around just like I did in the Virginia Tech game. One thing about this game is you just have to fight through little things like that. I'm definitely getting back to where I used to be."
For Jones, this upcoming all-star game is not only different from a playing perspective but the week leading up to the game is also different from a time management perspective
"It's different. There is nobody to answer to and everything like that," Jones explained. "It's weird not having a curfew. I'm on my own. I have to be where I have to be when I'm supposed to be there."
There wasn't even any down time for Jones following the Russell Athletic Bowl. He returned home to New Jersey the following day and went right to work on his combine training at TEST Sports in nearby Martinsville, N.J.
"It was weird because after the Virginia Tech game, I went home and started training at TEST the next day. I trained for a week and then just came out here. I really haven't had a chance to sit down and enjoy myself and I won't either. As soon as I get done out here, I'm going right back to work at TEST."