SAN JOSE -- Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones is "all in" with his alma mater San Jose State as it looks to return to a bowl game for the first time since 2006.
The former Spartans wide receiver, now in his sixth year in the NFL, spoke to players before SJSU's practice Wednesday and delivered a message about enjoying their special season. The product of San Jose's Gunderson High is back in town this week with the Packers on a bye.
"It was great. James is a great guy," Spartans coach Mike MacIntyre said. "He's been calling me and texting me some as the season's gone along. He's been following us. He's real excited about everything we're doing."
Jones was on SJSU's last team to make it to a bowl. He caught six passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartans' 20-12 win over New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl and earned the game's offensive MVP award.
SJSU (7-2, 3-1 Western Athletic Conference) is in position to return to a bowl game. The Spartans' 42-13 win over Idaho made them bowl eligible.
Jones was a third-round pick of the Packers in the 2007 draft and won a Super Bowl in the 2010 season. "He was just giving us his experience what he's been through since college," SJSU junior receiver Noel Grigsby said. "Telling us that we need to be all in. These next couple of games are big steps in our program that can get us over the hump to double digit wins. Telling us to cherish the moment right now and enjoy our time
It's hard to beat the message Jones is able to deliver. A local product who was unheralded coming into college, Jones developed into a standout receiver who is now enjoying his finest season as a pro. He's on pace to set career highs in receptions, yards and already has a career high with an NFL-leading eight touchdown catches.
"One thing that people respond to is others who have been in that situation," Grigsby said. "He's a proven winner. In college, that team went 9-4 and won a bowl game. He won a Super Bowl. He plays with arguably the best quarterback in the game right now.
"He knows what it takes. He knows hard work. We see him up here during the summer working out. It's always good to hear from him. He's probably going to be a Pro Bowler this year so seeing what he's doing on the field and seeing the message he relays to us, who wouldn't listen?"
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