According to’s Bucky Brooks, Jones is the top-rated draft prospect at cornerback.

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Kevin King said something that you might read in a fortune cookie to explain why his Washington Huskies teammate Sidney Jones is arguably the Pac-12’s best cornerback.

“When you’re out there on that island and guarding a receiver who knows where he’s going, you have to be relaxed,” King said after UW’s practice Tuesday. “And you have to be patient.

“You have to be one with yourself mentally to know that you can react properly and get the job done. That’s something that Sidney does real well. He’s real patient. He has trust in himself and he trusts his ability.”

Let’s unwrap that for a minute.

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Patience is a rare commodity among teenaged boys and young men playing a hyper-kinetic sport where speed and quickness are valuable assets.

And yet, Jones’ ability to remain calm during adverse situations is among his best attributes.

“Being prepared — whether that’s knowing your assignments or putting in film study — builds that trust and everything else,” Jones said. “And you build that way before the play starts or the game begins.

“So now when you’re in that 1-on-1 battle, you’re better able to relax. You got to be patient at the line because he (the receiver) is going to shift, shake and do whatever, but he has to go in a direction. Don’t let him shake you. Be comfortable and be still and be in that moment. That takes care of half the problem.

“Then when it’s time to make a play, make the play.”

It’s easier said then done and the 6-foot, 181-pound junior admits that despite claiming first team all-Pac-12 honors last season, he’s still learning the intricacies at cornerback.

In his heart, he’s still a receiver. And if you push him a little bit, he’ll mull for a minute or two about how his football career may have turned out differently.

“I thought I was going to be a wide receiver in college, but I had some QB issues in high school that altered the situation,” Jones said. “I wanted to play receiver because I like the ball in my hands.

“I miss being a receiver, but I’m glad things turned out this way.”

Jones was a two-way performer (safety and receiver) as a freshman at Diamond Ranch High in Pomona, Calif. During offseason drills, he attempted to move to cornerback until a varsity coach nixed those plans.

“I just looked awful to him,” Jones said. “He was like, ‘you’re an offensive guy only. Go to offense.’ That kind of blew up. My parents found out and they didn’t like that too much and I transferred.

“Having that in the back of my head that you’re not a corner … that always stays in the back of my head. That’s kind of like my inspiration.”

At West Covina (Calif.) High, Jones did a little bit of everything on the field and developed into a standout cornerback who captured Hacienda League Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2013.

The three-star recruit was rated the 73rd best cornerback in the country by ESPN. He started 12 games as a freshman in 2014 and had a breakout performance at Arizona when he had two interceptions.

“The biggest development in Sidney from year 1 to year 2 was his commitment to film study and preparation,” said Jimmy Lake, UW’s secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator during fall camp. “He learned how to process information quickly and transfers that to the field.”

Jones, who carried a 3.4 grade-point average last year while being named second-team Academic All-Pac-12, spent so much time studying film teammates dubbed him ‘Sydney Lake’ — a playful reference to his position coach.

Alongside standout safety Budda Baker, Jones was the brightest star in a UW secondary that allowed just nine touchdown passes and an average of 230 passing yards last season.

He finished with four picks — one shy of the Pac-12 lead — including a 69-yard interception return in the Apple Cup. He also led the Pac-12 with 14 passes defensed and had three forced fumbles, recovering two and returning one for a touchdown.

Heading into Saturday’s 11 a.m. opener against Rutgers at Husky Stadium, the buzz is building for Jones. He was among 39 players selected to the watch list for the Jim Thorpe award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive back.

According to’s Bucky Brooks, Jones is the top-rated draft prospect at cornerback.

“Based on his strong sophomore campaign, I believe he has the tools, competitiveness, instincts and IQ to be a ‘shutdown’ playmaker as a pro,” Brooks writes. “Jones exhibits rare polish for a young corner. He mixes in a variety of techniques (press, bail and off) in coverage, yet is rarely out of position when the ball is thrown in his area.”

Jones was surprised when relayed the comments, but King had long predicted greatness for his defensive backfield mate.

“I’ve always seen it,” said the UW senior cornerback. “When he came in he wasn’t that five-star guy, but he believed in himself. He knew what he was capable of.

“Regardless of what the situation is, he’s been guy that’s always gotten the job done.”