Football: West Aurora quarterback Quintez Jones creating a buzz
By Rick Armstrong firstname.lastname@example.org July 4, 2013 6:36PM
West Aurora quarterback Quintez Jones prepares to throw on the run as he rolls out in last week's seven on seven drills at Oswego East. | Rick Armstrong~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 6, 2013 6:35AM
There are no scholarship offers on the table yet, but it’s looking more and more like his time will come.
“There’s a buzz,” West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said of senior quarterback Quintez Jones during a short break between games at least week’s Oswego East 7-on-7s, featuring 11 teams.
“We had at least five to six schools that came out to watch him work out this spring, from Wyoming down to Grand Valley State, which is one of the top (NCAA) Division II programs,” Eimer said.
“A lot came out to watch him throw, and probably eight to 10 more that came around just to talk to me about him, so you know there’s some buzz definitely starting.”
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Jones passed for more than 1,300 yards last season and ran for nearly 400 more. He started all nine games for the Blackhawks, who opened with two nonconference wins, lost five straight in DuPage Valley Conference play before closing with league wins over West Chicago and Glenbard East.
“He was in the QB mix my first year and played a little bit of tight end and ended up starting three games (at quarterback) that year,” said Eimer, who brought Jones up to varsity as a sophomore.
“He’s come a tremendous ways. He’s still got a ways to go, but as a sophomore he didn’t understand football, he really didn’t have much touch on the ball. He was a good athlete with an arm, but now, he’s really turned into a football player and quarterback.”
Jones, who was headed to college camps at Western Illinois and Grand Valley State on successive days after the Oswego East affair, also has attended college camps at Northern Illinois at the University of Illinois camp at Gately Stadium in Chicago.
“It’s a lot of fun going out there and competing,” he said. “Everybody else is trying to get that scholarship to a Division I college, too. Right now, I’m just out here working hard and hope to get offered.
“I feel like this, being my senior season at the varsity level, it’s a lot more easy with everything. The game’s slowed down a lot and I’m reading my coverages better.”
He also credits offseason workouts at Steve Gregory’s Quarterback Farm, based in Naperville, with helping him improve and thinks he’s more in tune with Eimer, who directs the West offense.
“There’s really a good vibe between the two of us,” said Jones, the lone returning offensive starter for the Blackhawks. “A lot of times I’m thinking something and he’s saying almost the same thing.
“Right now, I’d like to get my accuracy down a lot more, try to make sure it’s pinpoint. I don’t have somebody with a long wingspan like (the graduated 6-foot-3) Cole Childs, who can go up and catch nearly every ball. I’m trying to put it on the money a lot more.”
Childs caught nearly 45 percent of Jones’ completions last year and accounted for more than 50 percent of the quarterback’s throwing yards.
Jones also knows some college coaches may try to move him to a different position at the next level.
“I’d like to play quarterback but rivals.com (a recruiting site) has me listed as an ‘athlete,’ ” he said. “It’s basically wherever they need me.”
This year, that will be behind the center as the Blackhawks begin their final season of competition in the DVC before returning to the Upstate Eight. There are three schools in the league — Naperville North, Naperivlle Central and Wheaton Warrenville South — that West has not beaten in football since moving to the league in 1997.
“That would be one of our most memorable moments, I’d have to say, going down to my last year and getting a victory over one of those schools, the powerhouses in the DVC,” Jones said.
“We kind of relish (being underdogs). We know we’ve got a lot to play for but don’t have pressure on us at all.”