DALLAS -- Much has been written about twins and the strong bond that makes it difficult for them to be apart.
Sophomore linebackers and University of Arkansas targets Jai and Jalen Jones are nearly inseparable.
"This is our first year to have separate rooms," Jai said. "Before that, we had bunk beds or twin beds next to each other."
Even deep sleep can't keep the twins apart. When they were much younger and in bunk beds, Jai slept on the top.
"I would have a nightmare, and I would jump down running to my parents' room, and he would be five steps behind me," Jai said. "If one leaves, the other goes."
Jai, 6-0, 223 pounds, and Jalen, 5-11, 195, of South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas earned scholarship offers from the Hogs after impressing Razorbacks' defensive coordinator John Chavis at an Arkansas camp in June. Jai also has offers from Texas A&M, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Bowling Green and Alabama A&M. Arkansas was the first to offer Jalen.
It's a foregone conclusion they'll attend the same college.
"Same thing with college. No choice, he's going with me," Jai said.
Jalen best describes the benefits of having a twin brother.
"Never being alone," Jalen said. "Always got that one person. He's my best friend. There's nothing that can top that."
The brothers are the sons of former Razorback linebacker J.J. Jones and his wife Paula.
"They're pretty inseparable," said J.J. Jones, who notes the brothers are very protective of their 5-year-old sister Zoe. "They're both competitive on and off the field. They balance each other out. As long as they have each other, they're good. It's been that way since they were babies."
Jai echoes his brother's thoughts about having a twin.
"Never being alone. Always have someone to hang out with," Jai said. "A lot of kids complain they don't have anything to do, but I don't have to spend money to have fun. I just go talk to Jalen."
Jalen said the brothers are together regardless of the situation.
"I could have a date, and he's coming," Jalen said. "That's automatic."
The brothers are often disciplined at the same time.
"We'll get in trouble for talking all night when we're supposed to be asleep," Jalen said. "Playing instead of cleaning up. If one of us gets in trouble, the other one is in trouble."
When one hurts, the other hurts.
"If he was going to get a whooping or something, I would cry," Jalen said.
Jai agreed that being disciplined usually led to tears for the other.
"Especially if I knew I was going next," Jai said. "That's when the waterfalls really start working. When we were younger, it really used to be bad because when he got a whooping, I use to cry hard."
As they grew older, Jai said his tears turned into something else.
"If I started realizing I'm not getting a whooping, I started laughing," he said.
Some twins report the ability to sense when the other is feeling pain. Jalen recalls a game when Jai injured himself, but he wasn't showing any obvious signs of pain.
"There was a game where he broke his thumb," Jalen said. "I could tell something was wrong, but he didn't want to come off the field, but I could tell something was wrong."
While most siblings grow tired of one another, Jai and Jalen hate being apart for even a few minutes.
"It's a twin thing," Jai said. "We just love being around each other. It's never boring."
Email Richard Davenport at davenport at [email protected]
Sports on 11/04/2018
Print Headline: Twins a package deal in recruitment