Franklin Regional grad Colin Jonov gets pick-6 in 1st series back
Colin Jonov is back.
Returning to the field for the first time since 2015 after ACL reconstruction surgery, the Bucknell defensive standout and 2014 Franklin Regional grad began this season in dramatic fashion against Marist.
To say that Jonov was eager to get back on the field and compete is an understatement, and it showed.
On the third play of the Bisons first defensive series, Jonov grabbed the spotlight when he stepped in front of Marist quarterback Mike White's pass and raced 64 yards down the sideline for the game's first touchdown.
“It was an amazing feeling to kind of welcome myself back in that manor,” said Jonov, a redshirt junior. “My teammates are unbelievable and supported to me through all my injuries. It was an indescribable feeling.”
Jonov, who plays cornerback in the Bisons 4-2-5 defensive scheme, finished Bucknell's season opener with one tackle and three punt returns in a 45-6 win.
“Colin Jonov has done an outstanding job coming back from a season-ending injury last year,” Bucknell coach Joe Susan said. “He is one of our more intelligent players and is a very good man defender. While he plays the field corner for us, he can easily change to playing the boundary.”
Jonov's physical style of play has taken its toll on his body, and the 6-foot, 190-pounder has had a difficult time staying healthy. Jonov was one of two freshmen to crack the starting lineup before fracturing his left knee against VMI in the 2104 season opener. He managed to battle back and was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for his two-interception performance against Holy Cross later that season.
“The thing I've learned most, no matter what, there's nothing in this world that I can't handle,” Jonov said. “I've had bad luck with injuries. Junior year in high school I had a fractured back and came back in five weeks and doctors cleared me.”
Perhaps Jonov's most grueling injury and was a fractured shoulder he suffered his sophomore year. It was an injury he played through the entire season.
“I've played (football) since I was little, and one thing it teaches you is how to keep going,” Jonov said. “I'm very religious, and I've learned to trust God's plan and that he never gives you something that you can't handle. Every time I got injured, it kind of humbled me.”
Jonov recorded five tackles in Saturday's 20-0 loss to Patriot Conference rival Holy Cross. He said he still keeps in touch and seeks advice from his former Franklin Regional coach Gregg Botta.
“Coach Botta and I talk kind of frequently throughout the years,” Jonov said. “He and I are close and still are close to this day.”
While Jonov is a redshirt junior on the football field, he's a senior in the classroom. He said he's in the process in figuring out what he's going to study in graduate school and plans to return to the field next season.
“Any college athlete who says that it's (all) a fun and exciting experience has got to be lying,” Jonov said. “There's a lot of things that they have to go through in college football.”
William Whalen is a freelance writer.