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Buchanan’s CJ Jones signs with Fresno State

Dynamic Buchanan defensive back chooses hometown over offers from UNLV and San Jose State.

From Garfield Elementary, to Alta Sierra Intermediate, to Buchanan High School, to Fresno State–CJ Jones will continue his football career right here in the Valley after the senior signed with the Bulldogs on the first day of the early signing period.

“I felt like Fresno state was the right choice because it feels like family to me,” Jones said. “Also it’s home, all my close relatives and family members can come watch all of my home games and that’s a big factor.”

Jones, a three-star prospect according to 247Sports, played a pivotal role on both sides of the ball this season, along with special teams, which helped Buchanan to a 10-3 record and Central Section Championship appearance.

Though Jones can be a playmaker with the ball in his hands, it’s defense where the 5-foot-11 standout will play at Fresno State.

“Most likely I’m going to play defense, corner and safety. But all in all, I am willing to play wherever the Bulldogs need me to get the win,” Jones expressed.

Jones spent the last three seasons playing in the competitive Tri-River Athletic Conference, which includes five Clovis Unified schools plus Central. With each conference game feeling like a defacto rivalry game, Jones feels as if playing at Buchanan has helped groom him for the next level.

In Buchanan’s 45-21 win over Clovis North on Nov. 2, CJ Jones scored on two interception returns for TDs and one kickoff return, showing off his athletic ability that he’ll take to Fresno State.

Specifically, Jones talked about the challenging schedule presented to him throughout his career.

“I do feel like the TRAC (and Buchanan) helped prepare me because we had a great schedule,” Jones explained. “For example Narbonne and De La Salle were great games to prepare me for college football.”

Certainly, those two programs mentioned are among the best in the state, but other notable teams Jones faced in his varsity career were: Liberty (five times), Central (five times), and a Clovis West team in 2017 with a slew of college football players of their own.

Fresno State offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb spoke about Jones and the process of recruiting a legacy to the program after Jones’ dad, Charlie, starred there at wide receiver from 1992-1995.

Grubb stated: “His dad played here, so getting a guy like CJ is a big deal. People will think about his father Charlie, but we recruited CJ for CJ. He is a phenomenal football player in his own.” Grubb also added, “He (CJ) was committed early and he stuck with us through this coaching transition. He is Bulldog proud and he is excited to be here, and we are excited to have him.”

Jones will now focus on getting stronger and working on his craft before joining the Bulldogs next summer. He had one last message to Fresno State fans before arriving on campus in a few months:

“For the fans that don’t know me, they’re getting a fast, physical defensive player that can run the ball too. Go ‘Dogs’.”

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