Jones to bring knowledge from camps back to Billingsley program
Published 9:33 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023
By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer
Always be humble and hungry.
That is the mantra Billingsley football coach Lanny Jones has told his son and quarterback Landon for as long as he has been involved in sports. Landon Jones is taking that to heart and putting it to work after participating in two invite-only football camps in February.
A rising junior, Landon Jones was invited to Carrollton, Georgia from Feb. 3-5 to participate in the NextGen Football Camp. He received two days of quarterback training, and on the third day, he got to showcase his skills against some of the best high school quarterbacks in the southeast.
“I think sometimes you can be over trained, but I really like the small things that they perfect from a quarterback standpoint that me or the staff may not know,” Lanny Jones said. “It is good to focus on those little things that you would not have time to do at a (Class) 1A practice. It is things he can work on by himself when he is on his own either at home or at a practice.”
Landon Jones said he liked seeing how he compared with the other players at the camps, players who were normally older than him. However, the class of 2025 prospect held his own.
“There were a lot of players from bigger schools and higher classifications who you would think would have more (to work with),” Landon Jones said. “To see that I could keep up with them is pretty good.”
Landon Jones was also invited to participate in the You Are Athlete Regional Exposure Camp in Birmingham at Legion Field on Feb. 11. The camps helped Landon Jones work on his release and being quicker with it and his decision making on the football field.
“Once you put all of that together, it goes pretty well,” Landon Jones said. “It helped me get smarter with the ball, my feet work and it helps you judge things.”
The camps were run by former NFL and division I football players, and each of those players took a little bit of knowledge from each coach they were taught by during their careers. Now, that knowledge is being passed down to the campers, including Landon Jones.
“To hear it from them makes it more valuable than others,” Lanny Jones said.
Aside from the physical training, the camps also address the mental aspects of playing the quarterback position. Landon had to open up at the camps and talk about why he plays quarterback, why he plays football and why he wants to be on a team.
“The quarterback is the leader on your team no matter how old you are, and it starts with you every play. As a QB, knowing how to lead (is important), and your team feeds off your energy,” Lanny Jones said. “I think he brings a lot of drive and passion to everything he does. From a dad standpoint, it is good to see that he is not satisfied with where he is at and wants to get better.”
Lanny said being a leader and doing it the right way is the biggest thing he hopes Landon takes from these types of camps and brings back into the Billingsley football program.
“Coming from a bigger school (before Billingsley), I have people looking up to me,” Landon Jones said. “Making sure I am always doing the right thing inside and outside the classroom, like keeping my grades up. They preached that to us at both camps … You are a student athlete, and student is first so you have to get that done.”
Landon Jones said being one of the youngest players at the two camps meant he had to take charge to be heard. He said he wants to lead by example at Billingsley his next two years, and use some of the things he learned at the camps in his leadership style.
“Bringing that back (to Billingsley) will help a lot,” Landon Jones said. “I might not be the oldest on the team, but being the quarterback, you have to be a leader and show people what to do and get to know your players.”
Landon Jones said he is really excited about the upcoming football season at Billingsley, and the rest of his high school career.
Landon Jones has one more football camp on March 18, the VTO Sports Elite 100 Exposure Camp in Birmingham, before getting back into the spring and summer camps for the upcoming Billingsley football season.