When the Lewis Central library door opened, it was obvious Logan Jones was about to join exclusive company.
Banners featuring Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. and former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck were the first clues. Toward the back of the library was another banner highlighting Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Jones and that elite group of current and former pro football players share an impressive distinction: they were selected to play in the All-American Bowl.
Jones, a 6-foot-3, 260-pound defensive lineman and four-star recruit who has verbally committed to Iowa, will participate in the game on Jan. 4, 2020, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game will air on NBC and features the top 100 high school football players in the country.
The Lewis Central standout was presented with his All-American jersey Thursday morning in the L.C. library. He said the privilege to play in the game was a tremendous honor.
“I’ll be able to see how I match up against other guys,” Jones said. “There’s definitely a bunch of talent down there, so it’s going to be cool to make new friendships and compete against some real good guys and hopefully get better as an athlete.”
As for his personal goal in the game?
“Right now, hopefully just hit the quarterback,” he said.
Jones first learned of his All-American Bowl selection over the summer. He received a message during a workout and thought it was a joke at first. He didn’t bother replying. Only later did one of his coaches confirm what was indeed happening.
The resume he’s created at Lewis Central shows why he’s viewed as a one of the top 100 players in the country. He’s currently the top-ranked recruit in the state of Iowa following a 2018 season where he was an all-state selection after finishing with 49 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Through eight games in 2019, he has 13 tackles, seven tackles for loss and four sacks. Lewis Central (8-1) will close out the regular season Friday at ADM. The Titans are in good position to earn a playoff spot in Class 3-A.
Jones has also displayed his athletic versatility over the years as a state champion in the shot put and discus and a key player on the basketball team.
He takes his role as a teammate and leader seriously, as evidenced by his insistence that his teammates join him for photos immediately after his All-American Bowl jersey presentation.
“He’s a man of character and integrity,” Lewis Central football coach Justin Kammrad said. “He does things the right way. They look to him for guidance on Fridays. They look to him for guidance on the basketball court, things like that. It’s a lot of those attributes. He’s very well liked and he has a great character about him and a great personality. He’s willing to help others.”
He’s also just scratching the surface in terms of his football potential.
“When he’s able to truly dedicate himself to 12 months of football, I think we’re going to see more growth from him, like many of our former athletes who are playing collegiately right now,” Kammrad said.
Among All-American Bowl participants over the years, 410 have become NFL draft picks, 144 Pro Bowl Selections, 57 Super Bowl champions and 16 Heisman Trophy finalists.
Jones wasn’t the only player from Iowa selected for the All-American Bowl. Carroll Kuemper’s Blaise Gunnerson, a Nebraska recruit, will also compete in the game.