Chad Jones was drafted in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Giants and was poised to become a hard-hitting mainstay of their secondary. But before he could play a down for New York, he suffered serious injuries during a single-car accident in New Orleans.
Cut by the Giants, Jones, a two-sport star at LSU, gave up football to pursue a baseball career. He has now taken the next step in making one of the most improbable and inspiring comebacks you'll ever see, having been drafted in the ninth round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds.
This is actually the third time Jones has been drafted by an MLB team. He was taken in the 13th round by the Astros in 2007 and the 50th round by the Brewers in 2010. (Aside: 50-plus rounds sounds awesome to cover.)
Jones originally played outfield for the Tigers but has made the move to pitcher; he was a relief pitcher for the Tigers during their 2009 College World Series championship. (Jones is also part of a rare club: he won a CWS title and a BCS title with LSU, in 2007.)
The ninth round -- and baseball itself -- doesn't guarantee anything, as Jones will have to work his way up through the minors.
"Jones was an exceptional athlete who showed first-round potential as both an outfielder and a left-handed pitcher despite never focusing on baseball," Baseball America's Jim Callis wrote recently. "He was a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder with above-average power potential, speed and arm strength as a right fielder, not to mention an 88-93 mph fastball and power slider on the mound."
Jones' fastball is reportedly topping out in the 90s again and his slider is supposedly biting as well. He's still a longshot but betting against him at this point wouldn't seem like a prudent move.
At the very least, his story to this point is already beyond remarkable.