IRISH STEW

More Story: Alizé Jones eyes immediate impact

IRISH STEW

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Today, we published the third story in our "Freshman Focus" series, this time on the immediate potential of incoming Notre Dame tight end Alizé Jones.

Jones had a lot to say, but unfortunately, not everything could make the actual story.

But that's what Irish Stew is for.

Here are some more bits from Jones on his blocking ability, using critiques as motivation and what he needs to do to play in the season opener this fall.

Alizé Jones

On his ability to block at Notre Dame:

“That’s probably the sleeper with me, my strength and my size. Ever since I graduated, I’ve been working on my speed a lot. I’ve gotten much bigger. I’m no longer 215, 220 (pounds), like people have been tweeting out. I’ve been getting much stronger and working on my footwork, because I know that’s the main thing that’s going to make the difference in me playing this year – my blocking."

(Jones told the Tribune he is currently 238 pounds.)

On the critiques that he isn't a strong blocker:

“I don’t really look up anything or read any articles. Usually it’s people telling me. My friends or my mother might read it. It’s motivating. You love to hear things like that, because you love to prove people wrong. But it’s nothing that irritates me. It’s just another thing like, ‘Well, these people don’t believe I can do it, so I’m going to show them that I can and will.’ It’s motivating.’”

On how he can contribute at Notre Dame immediately this fall:

"I’m really confident in myself. Coming in, I’m just ready to go to work. I know that I’m going to have to get my head in the playbook and get adjusted to the speed of the game. But just coming in, I want to make an impact with my athleticism. I really want to use that, and I think it’s really unique. Come fall, hopefully they can use me a lot as a passing threat. I don’t really know if I’m going to do too much inline early in the season with me working on my blocking. But as a passing threat, I hope to do a lot. And as the season goes on, I want to develop as an all-around tight end…which I will be.”

On how being in a public spotlight in high school will help him adjust to Notre Dame:

“I think that’s what kind of takes away the anxiety and the nervousness of going to college. Since my sophomore year, all of our games were always national. You’re playing the No. 1 team, the No. 5 team. We’re playing against guys that are going to Clemson, Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State. We’re playing the best players, and we’re playing in front of 20,000 people. Cameras are there, and ESPN. You kind of get used to it. Those type of things really help. You get a little taste of what college is going to be like as far as talent.”

On taking advice from Notre Dame senior offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, who also attended Bishop Gorman High School:

“When he was here at Gorman, we talked a lot. Any time he gets a chance to be off from football he comes back to Vegas. Nicco (Fertitta) and I will hang out with him. One night, we just asked him a bunch of questions about the school and all the coaches and players – how it is coming in. He said that he was pretty nervous, but you just have to come in and work. Especially going to camp, you’re not going to know the entire playbook. You won’t know everything. It’s just all about who’s making plays, who’s working hard. You have to work harder than the seniors and the juniors. You have to beat those guys in practice.”

Tight end Aliz'e Jones saw a clearer future for himself at Notre Dame rather than UCLA. (Courtesy of Las Vegas Sun)