One of the key members of North Carolina Central’s MEAC title winning squad won’t be back next season. Mike Jones, an All-MEAC defensive back, will not be returning to the program next year.
The redshirt junior made his announcement via his Instagram page on Tuesday.
“Having another year left, I’ve sat and thought hard on what I wanted to do, declaring and going to the league isn’t what I want to do this year, exploring my options and playing my last year of eligibility is definitely what I want to do,” Jones wrote. “So that being said, I will not be coming back to NCCU for another year of eligibility.”
Went through hell and back wit my boys, went from being the most hated, doubted and all . . . But I loved every bit of my experience here at CENTRAL, went from being an All-Conference/ American player to breaking my ankle my Junior year and being out for the season. Then training and pushing myself to come back, where I made All-Conference first team again for 2 positions and gaining recognition on multiple All-American publications. Just to say I did that is incredible and to also say I graduated in 3.5 years Is great, but my journey ain’t been easy but I kept faith and to be able say I was consistent is also a plus. I’m thankful for every opportunity I ever had, for the ppl I’ve encountered, the teammates I had by my side, the ppl that believed in me, and all my coaches. Having another year left, I’ve sat and thought hard on what I wanted to do, declaring and going to the league isn’t what I want to do this year, exploring my options and playing my last year of eligibility is definitely what I want to do. So that being said, I will not be coming back to NCCU for another year of eligibility. 🦅🎓💍🏈🏆
The Baltimore, MD cornerback earned All-MEAC honors for the third time in his career in 2016, wining first-team honors as a punt returner and cornerback. His was a major comeback story after he missed all but three games in 2015 as a junior thanks to a season-ending injury. He picked off two passes and returned two punts for touchdowns.
Initially brought in under former NCCU coach Henry Frazier in 2013, Jones graduated from NCCU earlier this year, but still has an extra year of eligibility.
Jones departure will leave more big shoes to fill as the team will already have to replace three-year starter Malcolm Bell at quarterback along with fellow seniors Carl Jones and Quentin Atkinson.