August 31, 2007

Public appreciation

Ramone Johnson had better finish his game day routine early this week.

The Tennessee offensive lineman's focus figures to drift halfway across the country on Saturday afternoon instead of sticking to the Volunteers' approaching opener at Cal. If former high school teammate Demetrius Jones makes his first collegiate start when Notre Dame hosts Georgia Tech, Johnson may go running for the Kleenex.

"To tell you the truth, I'd shed a tear because I know how far we've come." Johnson said. "That's like my brother from another mother right there."

The Chicago connection to Jones might not be that universally strong, but there is unique bond between the Irish sophomore and the city's Public League. The reasons why are as diverse as Jones' skills, from the fact Notre Dame rarely recruits the urban conference, to the quarterback's hypnotic charisma to how few expected the Morgan Park graduate to best former prep phenom Jimmy Clausen.

Add it up and Jones evolves into the potential face of Chicago high school football.

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