Herb Jones is arguably one Richmond’s most respected arena football players and after this 2018 season with the Hampton Roads Reapers, Jones is finally hanging it up.
Jones, a wide receiver out Virginia Union University, started his arena football career with the Richmond Raiders back in 2010. He played with the Richmond Raiders all six seasons alongside coach James Fuller, the current head coach of the NAL’s Maine Mammoths.
Jones played in all three different Professional Indoor Football League Championship Games. The Raiders fell short of their goal to bring a championship to the city of Richmond, VA, losing to the Albany Panthers in 2012, Alabama in 2013, and Columbus Lions in 2015. The Raiders folded after that 2015 season, along with the PIFL.
In 2017, Gregg Fornario and Mike Kacor brought arena football back to Richmond with the Richmond Roughriders. That team quickly signed a few Richmond Raiders veterans like Maurice Thorne, James Carter, Sr. , Davon Morgan, and, yes, Agent 5 himself Herb Jones.
The Roughriders went undefeated in the Arena Pro League, beating the Florida Tarpons in the Championship game finally giving Jones his arena football ring.
Jones himself had amazing game. He had a amazing touchdown catch from Jimmy Laughrae that ended up on ESPN Top 10. It was all over SportsCenter and other sports media.
One of Jones’ teammates from the Richmond Raiders, 2012 PIFL MVP and 2015 PIFL Champion with Columbus Lions, quarterback Antwon Young.
“There’s players who play the game and there’s players who know the game. Jones is a player who knows the game,” Young said on his former teammate. “That’s the difference between a player being good to me, and a player being average. If you really know the game, you’re going to always be successful.”
Matt Neely is also a long-life fan of Jones. . “I have 3 favorite memories of Herb playing. One happened in the championship game the Raiders played against Columbus,” Neely recalls. “When no other receivers could really make anything happen they started throwing more to Herb. He caught everything thrown his way and was punishing defenders who he came in contact with. He played harder than anyone else that game and left it on the field“.
Neely also said It’s never easy seeing a fan favorite go to another team especially if it’s not his choice. “We’ve lost a connection to all of the past Raiders teams with Herb gone,” he said. “I understand that it’s a business, but I root for “our” guys. Herb was one of ‘our’ guys.”
“Herb was great to have on the roster for he was a true vet and the guys needed that veteran guy to look up to,” Fornario said of him. “I was only around for one year of his career in which I understand he was a fan favorite for multiple years and has put up big numbers in his arena football career. I’m glad we were able to win a ring together, and we wish him luck this season. And I’m sure April 28, we will all see the famous Herb Jones touchdown dance one last time.”
Jones had a lot of amazing highlights during his eight-year career. He said his most favorite was ” When we came back against Lehigh Valley Steelhawks to go to the championship and when me, speedy, and Scooby all had touchdown catches to come back and win”.
Jones is ending is amazing career with the Hampton Roads Reapers in the Elite Indoor Football League.
“Playing for the Reapers is great for me because it gives me a chance to play in front of my hometown and help give back to my area and do something positive. As well as linking up with my brother Antwun Williams,” Jones told Inside the Arena.
“As much as I love playing in Richmond I understand that this is also a business and organizations go in different directions all the time so it is what it is.”
Jones brings leadership and veteran experience to the Reapers. He will bring his knowledge of the game to help build the future young bucks in the EIF.
The Richmond Roughriders ring ceremony is March 31, also their home opener, when they take on the Carolina Energy. Jones will most likely be in attendance to accept his championship ring. But he gets to return to the Coliseum one more time this time in a Reapers uniform to face his former on April 28 as the Reapers take on the Roughriders.