Brent Jones signed with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent from Santa Clara University in 1987 and retired as a four-time Pro Bowler with three Super Bowl rings at the end of the 1997 season. The tight end was known for getting open in crowded zones over the middle, “Brent is the best in the league at that. Inside the hashes, that’s where he lives,” Steve Young once told the San Francisco Chronicle. Jones in a 11 year NFL career recorded 417 receptions for 5,195 yards and 33 touchdowns. Not bad for a football player no one wanted.
Jones played his final game in January 1998 with a torn calf muscle, an appropriate finish given his history of playing through injury. “I went to Santa Clara University on a baseball/football scholarship, and it was there that my football skills blossomed. I was first-team all-conference for three years, earned conference Player of the Year honors as a senior and also became an AP, Football News and Kodak All-American. Then in 1986 I was drafted in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After my first season which included a car accident and neck injury, I wound up back near my hometown playing for the San Francisco 49ers. As the old saying goes, the rest is history.” “It took a lot of hard work and dedication to become a successful NFL pro, but it may surprise you that football has never been my top priority in life. Back in high school, I discovered there was more to life than sports. “It is not the same, nothing replaces the special opportunity to play professional sports. I do miss it. Jones said. “I still have the highlights and the trophies and the memories, but I miss the bond I had with my fellow players and coaches. My new career is exciting, the competition is very challenging, in a different kind of way.” But he still can’t find anything to match the adrenaline he used to feel catching pipeline passes from quarterback as a tight end for the San Francisco 49ers.