Former Maryland linebacker Keandre Jones signs with Chicago Bears after going undrafted

Linebacker Keandre Jones reacts to a missed interception during Maryland's 54-7 loss to Nebraska at Maryland Stadium on Nov. 23, 2019. (Joe Ryan/The Diamondback)

Before the 2019 season, linebacker Keandre Jones came home. After playing sparingly through three seasons at Ohio State, the Olney native decided to return to Maryland after his junior season.

Now, it looks like Jones might have to relocate again. After going undrafted, the former top recruit signed with the Chicago Bears, he announced via Instagram Monday afternoon.

“Honestly this is a dream come true, but so much more work to be done I’m not satisfied … I’m ready to work,” Jones told the Diamondback in a text message.

[Read more: Tight end Tyler Mabry signs with Seattle Seahawks]

Jones captained the Terps and started all 12 games in his sole season in College Park. He led Maryland with seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss, and his standout play on an otherwise struggling defense earned him an All-Big Ten honorable mention.

The linebacker made a name for himself while starring at nearby Good Counsel High School. Jones was a two-time first team All-Met player and a consensus top-10 outside linebacker nationally for the class of 2016. Jones initially committed to the Terps in 2014 before shifting gears to Ohio State along with fellow DMV star Dwayne Haskins.

In three seasons with the Buckeyes, Jones played in 34 games but never started. He tallied 29 total tackles and only one sack.

Jones transferred to College Park just as it appeared his role at Ohio State might expand. He appeared in every game during his sophomore and junior years and was carving out minutes for one of the country’s top defenses.

[Read more: Former Maryland cornerback Tino Ellis expected to sign with Saints after going undrafted]

While his Maryland career was short lived, Jones did make a significant impact in some big games for the Terps. His best showing came in Maryland’s home blowout of No. 21 Syracuse, where Jones forced a fumble, recorded two sacks and notched eight tackles. Jones finished his Maryland career strong, totaling a career-high 11 tackles, including 1.5 for a loss, in the season finale against Michigan State.

Jones joins former Terp Josh Woods in Chicago, where he hopes to break through a crowded linebacking corps highlighted by star Khalil Mack.

“Chicago presented the best opportunity to compete and make the 53 man roster,” Jones wrote. 

Although he passed up on a College Football Playoff-caliber team, Jones still made an impact in his homecoming season. Draft night was a disappointment, but the Bears have handed him a chance to make it to the NFL. It just takes another relocation.

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