VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

UConn cornerback gets an insider's look at Capitol

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut cornerback Byron Jones is expected to be a leader for the Huskies on the football field this season, but spent his summer learning what it might take to become one off of it.

While teammates were working on their game or their tans, the 6-foot-1 junior from New Britain worked during his off months at the state Capitol in Hartford and the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., serving as an intern for both Connecticut's House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

``It was an eye opening experience,'' said Jones, who is majoring in economics, but is also taking political science courses at UConn. ``I went to hearings, briefings, took notes on behalf of the congresswoman. I gave tours of the U.S. Capitol.

``It was fascinating.''

Jones said he became interested in government through conversations with Rep. Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, who had been his AAU basketball coach. When the House leader asked if he would like to get a firsthand look at how the legislature works, Jones jumped at the chance.

He spent his spring break and the first few weeks of this summer in the Aresimonwicz office, shadowing staffers, attending public hearings and taking notes at meetings.

``He has this incredible work ethic,'' Aresimowicz said. ``He also has this grasp of how to get people to work together, that was on display almost immediately. He was giving some pretty sound advice to some of us who have been doing this for quite a while.''

When Jones expressed an interest in going to Washington, Aresimowicz sent his resume on to Esty, whose district includes Jones' hometown.

The congresswoman said she was immediately impressed, enough to put him at the front desk in her Capitol office, where he greeted visitors ranging from members of the general public to Washington dignitaries.

``He has real presence and maturity and a combination of good humor and a calming presence, which is very important in a congressional office,'' Esty said. ``He managed things with maturity and grace, and I was very impressed with his knowledge, intelligence and his people skills.''

Esty said she trusted Jones enough that when a delegation from Newtown came to Washington to push for gun control legislation, it was Jones who became their Capitol escort.

``That was an honor,'' Jones said. ``I got to go with them to a news conference and to see Congresswoman Esty speak about the issue on the floor. It was pretty cool just to be in the same room with people like Nancy Pelosi, and Chris Murphy.''

UConn defensive coordinator Hank Hughes said Jones has shown those same leadership traits on the football field, where he moved in the offseason from safety to cornerback after Dwayne Gratz and Blidi Wreh-Wilson graduated to the NFL.

``From the time he arrived here until now, he's a guy who has a lot of class, a lot of poise, a lot of character,'' Hughes said. ``He's a sharp guy, a quick learner and a tremendous athlete. He'll go to the NFL combine and he'll put up long jump numbers that will rival anyone in the country.

``Byron is mature off the field and on the field.''

Aresimonwicz said he asked Jones if he aspires to be the Huskies defensive captain, and was impressed by his answer.

``He told me that you don't need a title to be a leader,'' he said.

Esty said she expects Jones will lead in whatever field he chooses to pursue. She said what may be just as important is that he already is a role model in a time where many football players are making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

``I think people need to understand that when it comes to athletes, it's unfair to paint with a broad brush and condemn all of them,'' she said. ``Indeed, we do have exceptional young people who are student athletes.

``And they need to be celebrated.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

News: 2018 College Playoff Props
News: 2018 Heisman Trophy Odds
Taggart's first FSU practice sets tone
Whitehead addressing character questions
UGa's Carter enjoys pro day with Belichick
Ex-OSU captain Leo Brown dies at 84
UNC adds Gillespie as assistant coach
Auburn WR Stove reportedly tears ACL
Alabama OT Womack suffers broken foot
Why Buy Picks From
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 3165
Scott Pritchard + 2769
Mark Franco + 2093
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 517
Gary Bart + 290
Jim Feist + 185
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 68 %
Vince Akins 64 %
Dave Cokin 62 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1510
Scott Pritchard + 1184
Marc Lawrence + 975
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 1365
Scott Pritchard + 1074
Antony Dinero + 551
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 1060
Marc Lawrence + 959
Joe Williams + 805
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership