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Brent Jones Nominated To HOF
November 1 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Former 49ers great, tight end, Brent Jones received his first nomination to the NFL’s Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio this week. Jones, who retired after the 1997 season, is in his first year of eligibility for the hall of fame. Among 73 other nominees, were commissioner Paul Tagliabue, running back Marcus Allen, quarterback Boomer Esiason, special teams/wide receiver Steve Tasker, offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman and linebacker Sam Mills – all nominated for their first times. Also included in the nominations are Bob Kuechenberg and Bill Parcells both of whom finished in the top six of last year’s balloting.

Of the 74 nominees, only 12 finalists will be chosen from this list, three others through a different process. Of the finalists, four to six of them will be inducted into the Hall Of Fame this June. Jones hopes to be one of them, joining team mates like Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, and Dave Wilcox who were most recently inducted from the 49ers team.

Jones 12 year career began in Pittsburgh where he was drafted 135th overall in 1986. One year later, as a free agent, Jones signed with the 49ers. During his ten year tenure with the 49ers, Jones became the first 49ers fifth player to record over 400 receptions, and the first tight end in team history to do so. He finished his career with 417 receptions, for 5195 yards, 33 touchdowns in 143 regular season games. In post season play, Jones recorded 60 receptions for 740 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Jones was nominated to the Pro Bowl four times in his career. He owns three Super Bowl Championship rings and the record for receiving yards by a tight end with the 49ers. In 1998 Jones won the “Good Samaritan” of the year award from the NFL. He has also been inducted into the Division II Football Hall of Fame in 2001, and the College Football Hall of Fame this past year, 2002.

A graduate from Santa Clara University in 1985, Jones has a economics degree. He was born on February 12th 1963 in San Jose, California. He is currently married to his wife Dana and has two daughters, Rachel and Courtney. Jones comes from a football family, his father Mike, was selected in the 21st round of the AFL draft by the Oakland Raiders, and again in the 20th round of the NFL draft by the Steelers in 1961.

Jones career came to an end after a playoff loss to Green Bay in 1997. The beat up Jones was not much of a factor in the game, catching just one pass for 12 yards on the sloppy Candle Stick Park. Jones was expected to be a big factor in the game, but after injuring his right calf muscle in the week’s final practice, the game plan had to be juggled.

Quarterback Steve Young, an all time great 49er, and Jones roommate for 11 years commented after the game on just how bad the situation was: ``On Friday when he pulled it, our passing game, a good majority of it, was Brent Jones, because we felt he could get open, and not get (blocked) at the line of scrimmage as maybe J.J. (Stokes) or Terrell (Owens) might when their defensive backs came to the line. Really, we were scrambling Friday and Saturday in case Brent couldn't play and we needed to try other things.'' Jones was on crutches as late at Saturday night.

``You don't have time to rehab in 30 hours,'' Jones said after the game. ``I had to (take pain killing injections) several times before the game to see if I could play, then again right before the opening kickoff and at halftime. I wasn't going to be kept off the field for my last game if there was any possible way,'' Jones said, speaking like the great competitor and person that he was.

Jones is a spiritual person believing strongly that God played a large role in helping his team win Super Bowls, play in Pro Bowls and earn various All-Pro honours. Jones refers to his career as “a very rewarding experience”. Especially considering he never had aspirations to be a NFL tight end, rather growing up, Jones always dreamed of playing baseball. Jones even played first string baseball in high school, while only making second string on the football team. His scholarship to Santa Clara was for both baseball and football – according to Jones, it was Santa Clara that his football skills blossomed, earning him Player of The Year awards, and as a senior he became the AP, Football News and Kodak All-American.

After injuring his neck in a severe car accident, Jones first year in the NFL was awash. His release from Steelers, and signing with the 49ers turned out to be a pivotal moment in his career. “It took a lot of hard work and dedication to become a successful NFL pro, but it may surprise you that football has never been my top priority in life. Back in high school, I discovered that there was more to life than sports. You see, I had a significant void on the inside that athletics and friends could not fill. Later I realized that the key to fulfillment and contentment in life was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Jones noted, showing his spiritual side. He claims that it was in his sophomore year that his spiritual side became prominent.

Much of Jones charitable work revolves around a program called “Through the Young Life” a Bible study program, and Jones is no stranger from quoting from the book: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Is one proverb that Jones has used to lead his life.

The spiritual Jones has been busy after football too. Jones joined the CBS Sports network in 1998 as a studio analyst on the NFL Today in 1998. He worked closely play-by-play announces Gus Johnson. Since then, Jones and his former team mate Steve Young formed a group of investors with some of Northern California’s high-tech firms, to make bids to by an existing NFL franchise. "We do have a group and we are looking to buy an NFL franchise," Jones told the San Francisco Business Times.

Jones final words to the media as a NFL football player were: `It's tough to realize that it's your last game,'' he said. ``I'm going to miss it a lot: the stadium, the fans -- but mostly the players and coaches.'' Undoubtedly, we’ve all missed Jones since 1997 too, and his nomination to the Hall Of Fame, is but a mere recognition, a rain drop in a lake, compared to the memories and moments Jones had on the field.

Regular season statistics:
                 |        Receiving        |
| Year  TM |   G |   Rec  Yards   Y/R   TD |
| 1987 sfo |   4 |     2     35  17.5    0 |
| 1988 sfo |  11 |     8     57   7.1    2 |
| 1989 sfo |  16 |    40    500  12.5    4 |
| 1990 sfo |  16 |    56    747  13.3    5 |
| 1991 sfo |  10 |    27    417  15.4    0 |
| 1992 sfo |  15 |    45    628  14.0    4 |
| 1993 sfo |  16 |    68    735  10.8    3 |
| 1994 sfo |  15 |    49    670  13.7    9 |
| 1995 sfo |  16 |    60    595   9.9    3 |
| 1996 sfo |  11 |    33    428  13.0    1 |
| 1997 sfo |  13 |    29    383  13.2    2 |
|  TOTAL   | 143 |   417   5195  12.5   33

Post Season Statistics:

Year  Opp   Result  |  REC    YD  TD
 1987  min  L,24-36  |    1     7   0
 1988  min  W,34-9   |    2    17   0
 1989  min  W,41-13  |    3    24   1
 1989  ram  W,30-3   |    4    46   1
*1989  den  W,55-10  |    1     7   1
 1990  was  W,28-10  |    4   103   0
 1990  nyg  L,13-15  |    3    46   0
 1992  was  W,20-13  |    4    64   1
 1992  dal  L,20-30  |    3    40   0
 1993  nyg  W,44-3   |    4    39   0
 1993  dal  L,21-38  |    3    26   0
 1994  chi  W,44-15  |    5    26   1
 1994  dal  W,38-28  |    3    37   0
*1994  sdg  W,49-26  |    2    41   0
 1995  gnb  L,17-27  |    8   112   0
 1996  phi  W,14-0   |    2    22   0
 1996  gnb  L,14-35  |    4    32   0
 1997  min  W,38-22  |    3    39   0
 1997  gnb  L,10-23  |    1    12   0
TOTAL                |   60   740   5

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