The Calvin Jones Project
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio -- The city of Steubenville has a strong football tradition, so it makes sense there would be a permanent reminder of the legacy of one of the greats. In this case, the subject is Calvin Jones - the greatest one. Jones is not just a Steubenville legend, he's a football legend who made his mark on and off the field and far beyond the Ohio Valley. Jones has been honored in numerous ways but the latest project, unveiled Wednesday, will require the help and support of his hometown. Jones' community is working to raise $75,000 to build a statue in his honor. "Wherever he played, he is in the hall of fame," Steubenville High School football coach Reno Saccoccia said. "It's an honor to even talk about him." Jones, who was killed tragically in a plane crash in 1956, accomplished more in his short life than many do in a lifetime. "A lot of times, sports people can get big headed but he never was," Jones' niece Patti West said. Jones was a 3-time consensus All-American at the University of Iowa, an Outland Trophy winner, and the first African American to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine. He had the world in his hands, but he never forgot his hometown. "For Steubenville Big Red, we have such a history, since 1900, a 115-year football history, and to be the best player to ever play here is just an honor," Saccoccia said. Nearly 60 years after his death, Jones' name and his legacy still remain relevant to Steubenville's history. "Uncle Calvin was my mother's youngest brother, and not only was he a great athlete but from what people tell me, he was a gentleman," West said. That's why they want to raise money for a statue. "It's much to be appreciated, and I'm lost for words," West said. "I really, really am." The life-sized statue of Jones will be placed outside Steubenville's Harding Stadium.
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