BATON ROUGE, La. — Deion Jones may not have known that a sub-4.4 40 time was possible.
His teammates certainly did.
“No, no, no, not at all,” Jalen Mills said when asked if he was surprised by Jones’ time. “Me and D-Bo, we train together. The speed was always there. When he ran that time, in my head, I knew it was going to happen. It was a secret between me and him. We knew he’d be that fast or close to it, so I already knew it.”
“None of us were surprised,” Lamar Louis said. “We knew he was going to run fast. At the combine, he ran a 4.59 and he was swerving. I said to myself, ‘That’s a high 4.3 if he ran straight, if he ran a perfect 40.'”
“I knew he was going to run that,” Vadal Alexander bragged. “Everyone knows he’s faster than a 4.5. I’m proud of my brother, man.”
Jones officially clocked in a 4.38 on LSU’s Pro Day, and did so after making very few adjustments since the NFL Scouting Combine late last month.
He did change his shoes. Maybe he was pumped up by the former LSU Tigers in attendance. Maybe there was even a breeze blowing in the right direction.
But while Jones’ teammates were anything but shocked, Jones indeed felt that way.
“I was shooting for a 4.4, that was the only thing on my mind,” Jones said. “I needed that. I didn’t get it at the combine, so it was personal. I gave it my all. I saw my homeboys’ reaction on the sideline. I didn’t expect to go that fast.”
“Did a breeze go through?” Jones asked with an obvious smile afterwards.
Jones’ personal best comes after what he deemed a sub-par performance at the combine in Indianapolis, where the linebacker couldn’t run as he did during training.
Jones had difficulty running in a straight line and even closed his eyes when he was timed.
One thing is for sure: Jones kept his eyes open on Monday.
“I just lost focus of the little things,” Jones explained. “I worked on it day in and day out, and it paid off. (At the combine) I swerved left, then went right, and straightened it up at the end. My eyes were closed. (Today) I just locked in. I knew I was faster than that. I guess I got psyched out by the atmosphere at the combine. It was different. It was quiet, not a lot of ruckus going on, so I had to make up for it.”
Jones’ blazing 40 time will lead to a meeting at 7 p.m. Monday night with the New Orleans Saints coaches at Walk-Ons restaurant in Baton Rouge, La.
He previously met with the team at the Senior Bowl and the combine.
That dinner could be the first step toward securing his NFL future.
“I’m a competitor,” Jones said. “If I don’t get starting role, whatever, I will find my way onto special teams and play somewhere until it’s my time. I’ll continue to compete and learn from the best.”