Saivion Jones becomes first lineman to win Sportsline Player of the Year
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It’s fitting that in an unprecedented season like 2020, we witness the first-ever lineman to win the prestigious Warrick Dunn Award as St. James defensive end, Saivion Jones, took home the honor.
Jones is one of only three players to strictly play on the defensive side of the ball.
A football season like any other and one that many thought might not even happen due to the COVID-19 finally got going in early October.
Nominees and the winner for the Warrick Dunn Award must display the productivity on the playing field, along with the intangibles like character, selflessness, and sportsmanship that Dunn exhibited over his long and successful playing career.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end terrorized quarterbacks and offensive lineman all season in route to earning all-state first team honors as a senior and was named Louisiana’s Class 3A Defensive MVP.
Jones had 75 tackles and 10 sacks in an abbreviated 2020 season, a year after he helped the Wildcats to a state title and a perfect 15-0 season with 103 tackles.
Among them 13 tackles for loss plus 13 sacks to go with 25 quarterback hurries, which earned him another state MVP and 4-star rating among recruits.
The LSU signee was one of the top players in the state according to 247Sports has Jones ranked as the No. 5 overall player in Louisiana. The state’s top six players all signed with LSU for the class of 2021.
Jones was a highly coveted recruit and chose the Tigers over offers from Florida, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and many others.
During 11 seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bucs and Atlanta Falcons Dunn enjoyed a phenomenal career eclipsing the 10,000-yard mark in rushing, but what he may be best known for his Home for the Holidays program, which provides single working mothers with brand new furnished homes in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tallahassee, and Tampa.
Dunn’s mother, the late Betty Smothers, was a single parent and an officer with the Baton Rouge Police Department. She was working an extra late-night security assignment when she was shot to death while he was still a student-athlete. Dunn has tried to honor her memory with his performances and his generosity.
OTHER WARRICK DUNN FINALISTS (Click to see full profiles on each player):
- Matthew Langlois - Catholic Pointe Coupee S
- Gage Larvadain - Riverside QB
- Da’Veawn Armstead - Central S
- Jardin Gilbert - U-High S
- Michael Cerniauskas - Catholic DB
- Tyrell Raby - Madison Prep DB
- Brian Thomas - Walker WR
- Chris Hilton – Zachary WR
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