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Football Senior Signs Pro Contract, Makes Mom Proud

Fordham Rams’ defensive end Aki Jones finished his Fordham career with 101 tackles and 12 sacks in 39 games. His impressive play earned him a professional contract. But for Jones, his real dream comes true on May 21, when he becomes the first person in his family to graduate from college.

“My mother wanted me to go to college and make something of my life,” said Jones, a College of Business Administration marketing major from Jamaica, Queens.

That he has. Jones, who was named Second Team All-Patriot League last fall during his senior season with the Rams, recently signed a free-agent contract with the National Football League’s Washington Redskins and practiced in their preseason training camp.

Jones said that he will accept his diploma as a tribute to his mother, Verette Steele, whose support and discipline motivated him to excel. When college recruiters made their offers, Jones — and his mother —chose Fordham because of what the University could offer after his playing days were through.

“Fordham prepares you for the future,” he said. “I always thought I was going to wear a three-piece suit to work.”

He still may, eventually. For now, Jones will exchange his cap and gown for cleats and a helmet, when he returns to camp the week following commencement.

Inside Fordham is pleased to highlight nine additional members of the class of 2005 on the following pages, who, like Jones, have enriched the greater Fordham community with their hard work, passion and dedication.

— Megan O'Hare
Additional reporting by Ysmael DeCastro, The Ram

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Copyright © 2003, Fordham University.

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