Julian Jones’ suicide was confirmed by the Madison County coroner in Alabama. Jones, a 16-year-old junior at the school, was considered one of the top-20 overall football prospects in the state’s Class of 2016. The coach and community is shocked over the suicide of the Hazel Green defensive end.
Julian Jones was a two-way starter at defensive end and tight end. His teammates say he was a powerful force on the field. He stood 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds and played with great persistence and tenacity.
His efforts on the field, as well as his lineage — Jones’ father is former NFL tight end Anthony Jones — had earned early recruiting interest from the likes of Auburn, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
A few months before Julian Jones’ suicide, Hazel Green coach Matt Putnam told AL.com that he anticipated the defensive end would emerge as one of his team’s primary leaders during the 2014 season.
“He grew up in football … He understands the game really well. He’s athletic, big and long. He’s 6-5, 6-6. He loves the game; he’s a good leader. He’ll be a junior next year and he’s already taken over pretty big leadership role on the team. He’s the kind of kid you wish they all were like.”
Months later, Putnam was expressing his condolences on Twitter after he learned of the suicide, just as many other members of the Madison County community were left to do.
“The entire Trojan Family is devastated by the loss of Julian. Our love, thoughts & prayers go out to his entire family. He will be missed … Blessed to have a beautiful family, a staff full of strong men and a team full of fearless warriors during this time.”
WAAY-TV is reporting the school plans to hold a candlelight vigil in Julian Jones’ honor Tuesday night. The event will take place at the football stadium.
The Julian Jones suicide has prompted friends and teammates to post tributes to him on Twitter. Some of them are images of heaven, and Jones with angel wings. At this hour, there are still multiple postings going on from those who will miss him.