When Julio Jones was a high school star in Foley, Alabama, the coaching staff did all it could to keep him in the state when he went to college.
So when Pete Carroll came into town to try to get him to play at USC, it was time for Operation Hide Julio.
When Carroll arrived at Jones’ high school, according to NFL.com, the coaches whisked him away and locked him inside the school. A call immediately went out to Alabama coach Nick Saban, and apparently that spurred Saban to give Jones a scholarship.
“We had a chance to see him like in the parking lot, and some people from the school grabbed him and took him in the back room, and before you knew it, I think there was an Alabama coach on the way to the campus, and we couldn’t even get near the guy at the time,” Carroll told the Alabama Media Group when the Seahawks prepared to face the Falcons last season.
Not having Jones has hurt Carroll more in the NFL than it did in college. Jones caught six passes for 67 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons’ 36-20 win over the Seahawks in the NFC divisional playoffs in January.
Carroll and the Seahawks were one spot ahead of the Falcons in the first round of the 2011 draft. The Falcons traded up 20 spots to get Jones at No. 6. That time, they didn’t have to lock Jones in a building to keep Carroll away from him.