Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Barrett Jones played with torn ligaments

By Edward Aschoff

Alabama's Barrett Jones shouldn't just be considered the nation's best center. That just wouldn't be enough. He should now be thrown into the mix for the label of the toughest player in college football.

Everyone knew Jones was battling a sore foot, but the Rimington Award winner said after Alabama's 42-14 romp over Notre Dame in the Discover BCS National Championship that he played the game with torn ligaments in his left foot. Jones suffered the Lisfranc (midfoot) injury in the first quarter of the SEC championship game against Georgia on Dec. 1 and will undergo surgery on Wednesday. He'll likely be out for three to four months.

Jones' foot might not have even been remotely close to 100 percent, but the coaches were probably going to have to tranquilize the 6-foot-5, 305-pounder in order to keep him from playing in or missing any part of Monday night's game.

"They would have had to physically drag me off the field to keep me from playing in this game, and even then, I don't know if that would have worked," Jones said.

He also revealed that he tore a tendon in his right pinkie finger during Monday's game. He was a walking Band-Aid inside Sun Life Stadium, but he refused to let it bother him. While his foot was heavily wrapped and he said pushing off was a bit of a challenge, you could hardly tell watching him push around Louis Nix and whichever linemen came his way.

You could also hardly see it in the 265 rushing yards the Tide churned out.

Jones even had enough in him to push his quarterback after some confusion over the snap count late in the fourth quarter.

Jones was an animal on the field and he basically did it on one foot (again). None of those defenders he has faced will miss him, but he'll certainly be missed around Tuscaloosa. There are few in the game who are the complete package like Jones.