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Jones getting college shot at Seton Hill

Knoch senior Aidan Jones, flanked by parents Jim Jones and Theresa McKruit, recently signed a letter of intent to play football at Seton Hill University. Standing, from left, are Knoch assistant coach Joe Farkas and head coach Tim Burchett. Submitted Photo
Knoch’s back-up quarterback plans to take advantage of opportunity with Griffins

JEFFERSON TWP — Playing behind one of the top quarterbacks in the WPIAL, Aidan Jones didn’t get on the field for Knoch on many Friday nights.

That doesn’t mean he wasn’t talented enough to play.

“Oh, it’s in there,” Knights coach Tim Burchett said of Jones’ skill-set behind center. “Aidan never stopped believing in himself. He kept himself ready and he’s earned himself an opportunity.”

Jones recently signed a letter of intent to continue his academic and football career at Seton Hill University. He plans to major in sports management with a minor in business.

He also considered Saint Vincent before deciding on the Griffins.

“During my visit there, I got to have lunch with the team and everybody was so welcoming, so accepting of me,” Jones said. “I felt like I was part of the team already.

“Seton Hill’s coaches reached out to my coach (Burchett). Coach told me they were interested and they came to school to talk to me. We stayed in touch through Twitter after that and it all worked out.

“I believe God has a plan for me and this is part of it.”

Jones completed one of two passes for 15 yards for Knoch his senior season. It was a start he made his junior year that opened a lot of eyes.

“Codi (Mullen) missed our game against Deer Lakes in Aidan’s junior year,” Burchett recalled. “Aidan stepped in and lit up that night. He threw for nearly 300 yards. That tape went a long way for him.”

Jones threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns as a junior, most of those numbers coming in that Deer Lakes game.

Daniel Day has been Seton Hill’s head coach for five seasons. The Griffins finished 6-5 last season. They bring back three quarterbacks next season — sophomore starter Hayden Teska (1,136 yards passing, 9 TDs, 11 interceptions), junior Kofi Kwaw and senior Jake Cruz. Cruz played in four games last year, Kawa played in two.

“My goal is to eventually start,” Jones said of his career at Seton Hill. “I have to learn the plays offensively, get comfortable with the system, get to know the other players ... It doesn’t mattrer if you’re a freshman or a senior, the best guys are gonna play.

“I have to prove myself that way.”

Burchett is confident he will.

“I believe Aidan will be a starter there at some point,” the Knoch coach said. “He knows how to be patient, watch more film, study the playbook, he will do all of that in college to improve his chances.

“So many young athletes are into instant gratification these days. Aidan’s not like that. He believes in his abilities and he’ll do what he has to do.”

Jones described himself as a quarterback “with a good arm who can make the big throws. I’m not known for my speed, but when a play breaks down, I can make plays with my legs, too.”

Jones stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 185 pounds. He plans to hit the weight room and get himself up to 200 or 205 pounds.

“The situation at Seton Hill reminds me of what happened here at Knoch,” he said. “The program was struggling, a new staff came in here and changed the culture, reversed the fortunes.

“That’s what is happening at Seton Hill right now and I want to be a part of it.”

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