Gene Upshaw

Ramble Prospect Spotlight: Gene Upshaw Award Winner Markus Jones

The Raider Ramble continues to spotlight NFL hopefuls this offseason with the draft upon us. Today’s prospect is Markus Jones, a defensive end from Angelo State who won the Gene Upshaw Award.

Thank you for taking the time to share some insight into your career, Mr. Jones. Let’s get started.

First, how do you feel about skills translating as a defensive end to the NFL? What challenges do you foresee for yourself on the field at the next level, Markus?

Gene Upshaw Award Winner Markus Jones

I have played defensive end for most of my life, so long that I can’t image stopping any time soon. Everyday I learn new things about the position through experience, training, and self evaluation. I’m very critical of my performance each game; I constantly work to improve, and that won’t stop once I’m on a roster; I know that becoming acclimated to professional football will come with a set of new challenges at first, but I’m ready to show why I belong in the NFL and what I can contribute.

You won the Gene Upshaw Award which carries the name of one of the greatest Raiders of all time. Can you tell us what that award means for you?

Being selected as the best lineman in Division II is a great honor, but the even greater honor is being associated with Mr. Upshaw’s name.

Mr. Upshaw had an incredible career on the field, but he also led the NFLPA, advocating for his fellow players. When he switched positions to guard, his speed to power was unparalleled and put him in a class of his own. I’ve been told my speed to power can be a deadly weapon in this game and I fully intend to live up to the name on this award.

When you look at the landscape of the NFL right now is there any particular defensive scheme you’d like to play under?

In the NFL, I believe my skill set would really benefit a 4-3 defense such as the ones the Cowboys, Patriots, and Lions use for example. However, I’ve played linebacker in the past, so a hybrid defense would also be a lot of fun!

Now most of our readership is made up of Raider fans so with that said, if the Silver and Black were to give you an opportunity what would your message be to Raider Nation?

Now that you’re looking at a post-Khalil Mack era, I believe you need more pass rush, I can do just that.

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