Aaron Mahoney-Jones: To Kansas and back – A Londoner’s Juco Journey

Young British running back Aaron Mahoney-Jones has embarked on a football journey he hopes will ultimately land him in the highest levels of the game.

His journey has taken the young product of Great Britain’s London Blitz program from his hometown to Mexico, Kansas, New York, back home to London and now to Birmingham, England.

His return to London and the London Blitz in 2019 gave Blitz one of the most explosive backfields in British American football and young Aaron Mahoney-Jones was considered the “X factor”.

Mahoney-Jones was happy with his 2019 season:

“I  shared carries with Xavier Ajuwon, Gabriel Quartey, Temi Oduyemi and Remi Ezeabasili, the strongest running back core in the country and I totaled just under 400 yards rushing and 3 TDs in 5 games.”

The 22-year-old Mahoney-Jones had returned to his hometown of London after spending a year in the United States, studying and playing at two different junior colleges. For the young foreigner this meant joining teams filled with some of America’s best young football athletes hungry for a chance at a college football scholarship. The Londoner’s juco journey started after being selected as an all-star player for the Europe Warriors team which played in Mexico against the Mexican U19 national team in 2017.

“After that season I was selected to play against Mexico but we lost and I’m gutted to this day, but it was great learning experience.”

His selection to the Europe Warriors squad came as a no surprise as the speedy 5’ 8″ running back dominated for the London Blitz’s U19 team carrying the load by rushing for over 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns as they won the 2017 U19 championship.

“My brothers and I won the natty [national championship] that year, if I’m not mistaken I think it was the 8th championship coach Henry won at Blitz. But that year my whole team put in a serious effort, Timi Oyelaja at receiver, Michael Iluyomade at Dline and Oline and many other ballers all pushed each other week in week out and nothing was stopping us that year.”

Aaron Mahoney-Jones #30 poses with Europe Warriors teammates

After that, the DSA athlete became the newest member of Garden City Community College’s football team. The Broncbusters juco program, located in Kansas, is considered one of the best junior college programs in the United States boasting of NFL alumni such as Corey Dillion, Mike Hughes, and Tyreek Hill, not to mention their 12 conference titles, and 2016 National Championship. This didn’t intimidate Mahoney-Jones who was joined by fellow Brit Bamidele Olaseni (now at Utah University D1 FBS).

Mahoney-Jones explains how valuable his time was at Garden City Community College:

“Tough, very very tough. The coaches were top level coaches and made us into animals. At first I found it hard to balance school and ball but after a while I got the hang of it. I found it tough but I enjoyed it because I knew it was making me into a serious baller. I was able to work my way into the mix of some serious ballers who all play in D1 now and some like Tre Meadows who’s declared for the draft this year.”

After making it through spring practice, countless workouts, and spending almost a year in Kansas, Mahoney-Jones decided it was best to move on to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, New York. He had originally considered transferring to ASA college in Brooklyn another junior college program rich in football tradition.

“It was a tough decision to move but for family reasons I moved to New York. A coach from Garden City helped refer me to a few schools in New York as well as my boy Brandon Bartley, ASA New York and Nassau being the best from that list. I got into a school in upstate New York, which wasn’t as good as ASA or Nassau but you gotta deal with what’s on your plate.”

After the 2019 season with the London Blitz and uncertainty of 2020, Mahoney-Jones has clear football goals in his future. It seems that while his junior college journey didn’t end how he had planned, it will open up new exciting opportunities to prove himself on the European scene. He is currently studying and planning on playing at Birmingham University in the UK’s top university league.

“Over the next two years I’m trying to ball out in Europe and or university ball and play Great Britain national team games and try and show the rest of Europe us UK ballers are serious. From there, the major next step is the CFL combine at the end of the year and then hopefully the NFL pathway.”

Alex Malchow
Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football stories from across the globe.
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