WPIAL Alum Q&A – Colin Jonov

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Monday, September 11, 2017 | 6:14 PM


Colin Jonov was a three-sport athlete during his time at Franklin Regional, playing baseball, basketball and football. It was on the gridiron where Jonov really excelled, though, and he continued his football career at Bucknell. Now a senior, Jonov is proving to be one of the top players for his team. As a result, he is the feature of the inaugural WPIAL Alum Q&A of the 2017-18 school year.

At Franklin Regional, Jonov was a three-time letterwinner at defensive back and receiver for the Panthers football team. In 2011, the Panthers compiled an 11-1 mark, with the only loss coming against Knoch in the WPIAL 3A semifinals.

The following campaign, Jonov became an integral part of the offense, as he registered 12 catches for 413 yards and seven scores. Franklin Regional finished 8-3, including a postseason win against Elizabeth Forward, but bowed out to Thomas Jefferson.

In his senior year, Jonov improved his numbers to 26 catches for 453 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was named first-team all-conference, as well as a third-team all-state performer by PA Football News. His squad made it back to the semifinals by defeating Montour and West Mifflin, but the Panthers ultimately fell to West Allegheny to finish 10-2.

In 2014, Jonov matriculated to Bucknell University, where he joined the Bison as a defensive back. As a true freshman, he started in the season opener, but suffered an injury and missed time. He still played in seven games, all starts, and recorded 23 tackles and two interceptions. The Bison concluded the campaign with a record of 8-3, including a 4-2 mark in the Patriot League.

In his sophomore campaign, Jonov started nine contests, notching 21 tackles and two interceptions, including a 51-yard return. Bucknell had a disappointing season, though, with a mark of 4-7.

Last year, Jonov was sidelined for the entire season with an injury. In his absence, the Bison again sputtered to a 4-7 record.

He returned to the field earlier this month, and made an immediate impact. In the season opener, Jonov returned an interception 64-yards for a touchdown in his team’s 45-6 win against Marist. Consequently, he was recognized as the Bison Athlete of the Week. Jonov has compiled six tackles through the first two games.

Colin took time from his schedule to answer questions about his recovery from injury, recruiting a former Panthers teammate, and his favorite movie.

Q: You started the 2017 season in impressive fashion, including scoring a defensive touchdown. What was key to your performance in the opener?

A: We had a great plan going into the game, so just following that and doing my job in the defense gave me the ability to make the plays when they came to me. On the touchdown in particular, I got a couple of great blocks from teammates Jon Fox and Blake Fletcher or else I wouldn’t have scored.

Q: What is the greatest strength of your game?

A: I think my greatest strength has to be my speed. There aren’t too many guys that I worry about running past me, so it makes it easier to be patient when covering routes.

Q: You missed all of last season due to injury. What was the injury, and what was the recovery process like?

A: I tore my ACL last season. The recovery process was a tough road that involved a lot of patience. It was definitely humbling and really motivating.

Q: As a senior, have you taken on a greater leadership role?

A: Yes, I have. Within the defensive back group, I try to guide some of the younger guys and raise expectations for what I believe we can achieve as a unit.

Q: What are your individual goals, and the team’s goals for 2017?

A: Honestly, my individual goal is to be the best player and teammate I can be. Any type of accolades will follow as long as I continue to work to be the best player I can be. As a team, we truly believe that anything less than a Patriot League Championship would be a failure or disappointment. We are a tight-knit group with a lot to prove.

Q: What stood out about Bucknell that led to your commitment?

A: The coaching staff was awesome, and the education is the best you can get.

Q: What is your major and ideal future profession?

A: Economics, and hopefully a financial advisor one day.

Q: What has been your favorite class thus far in college?

A: Working in America was my favorite class.

Q: Franklin Regional has been a championship contender for more than a decade. What makes the Panthers a successful program on an annual basis?

A: Coach Botta is awesome, and that’s one of the main reasons. Year in and year out, no matter what caliber of players are there, he has us prepared and ready to go.

Q: Another Franklin Regional graduate, Simon Behr, has just joined the team. Have you developed a relationship with him yet?

A: Yes, absolutely. I recruited Simon pretty hard to come here, not only because of his skillset, but because of the person he is. I had the opportunity to play basketball with him when I was a senior in high school and he was a freshman. I knew back then what type of athlete and person he’d become, so the recruiting started way back then.

Q: What was your fondest memory from high school?

A: High school athletics in general. I was fortunate enough to play football, baseball and basketball, and just the memories from those teams will always stick with me.

Q: Who is your favorite professional athlete?

A: Marcus Mariota

Q: What is your favorite movie of all time?

A: Lion King

Q: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

A: Sushi

Q: What is a secret talent you possess or little-known fact about you?

A: No special talents, but I guess a little-known fact is I don’t believe in luck or superstitions.

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