One of the top young football prospects in the state of Alabama has died of suicide.
According to AL.com and other Huntsville-area sources, Hazel Green defensive end Julian Jones, one of the team’s stars, was pronounced dead on Monday, with the Madison County coroner confirming that suicide was the cause of death. 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.
A two-way starter at defensive end and tight end, Jones 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.
Hazel Green coach Matt Putnam told AL.com in spring 2014 that he anticipated Jones would emerge as one of his team’s primary leaders during the 2014 season.
“He grew up in football,” Putnam told the website. “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, just as many other members of the Madison County community were left to do.
Needless to say, some of Jones’ teammates were even more emotional about their lost friend and teammate.
10 Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction.
1 John 2:15
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.