Nacogdoches football star shines on after father passes away from cancer

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - When you watch Brandon Jones on the field, his athletic ability is evident.

What motivates him as a player to strive for the best, and his life story takes a little more digging into.

Brandon has vivid memories of playing football with his father, Bert Jones, on the sidelines

"Every time I made a mistake, or did something good, I'd always hear him in the background. I remember him guiding me, standing in the end zone waiting for me to score a touchdown, and it really helped me be the best athlete that I am today," said Brandon.

However, that's all it will ever be-memories.

When Brandon was in 7th grade, his father died unexpectedly from cancer.

"He had an estimated time when he was suppose to pass away, but then he died all of a sudden," said Jones. "It was pretty hard."

Bert, like father like son, was also a great football player who was a running back at Stephen F. Austin, and could probably relate to his son as Brandon looks to play college ball.

"When he was here he really motivated me. He helped me a lot with football and he told me that if I just keep doing what I'm doing, I was going to get somewhere far in life," said Brandon. "Hopefully I'm making him proud with everything happening, and just keep making him happy."

If you look closely at Brandon on the field, you will see a piece of his father with him every time he steps in between the white lines.

Hanging from his belt loop, is a rag that honors the memory of his father.

"I wear this towel every practice and every game. It has his high school jersey number and I'm just representing him as best as I can," said Brandon. "Football's always been my number one priority, but then with my dad passing away it just made me realize how much I really do love the game of football, and how much I'm trying to make him happy."

While Brandon is going through the process of currently looking at 23 schools, he doesn't expect his father to leave him now.

"Hopefully he will give me some signs to help me make the right choice," said Brandon.

Brandon is only a sophomore and has plenty of time to make a decision, and even rack in some more offers.

He will have a chance to show off his talents at the Under Armor 5 Star Challenge he was invited to. That will be held in Baltimore, June 8th.

He also was invited to the Under Armor All-American game for his class.

That game will take place his senior year and he says he anticipates making his decision to commit then.

Here's a list of the schools that have offered Jones at this time:

Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Arizona State, Baylor, Florida State, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Purdue, Standford, TCU, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Washington State, Vanderbilt.