The Missouri Tigers have continued to work to extend their recruiting base in areas such as California, South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania and elsewhere in recent years and especially this recruiting season. However, they didn't have to go very far to find some talent to want to add to their 2014 class with their latest offer.
Columbia (MO) Hickman is the high school of 2014 DE/TE prospect Grant Jones 6'3" 215 and is just across town from the University. Jones picked up a Tiger offer yesterday and spoke with ShowMeMizzou.com about it.
"I was in class and got called to the office at the end of my last class by coach," said Jones referring to Hickman head coach Arnell Monroe. "When I got down there coach said that we needed to clear something up with Coach Hill and I thought, what did I do wrong,"he said with a chuckle.
"So, I called Coach Hill and he said he wanted to offer me a scholarship to play for Missouri. I said, you're joking,right? And Coach Hill said, I would not joke about that."
Jones was caught off guard with the good news.
"I was really surprised! I really didn't expect an offer. At least not this soon. I had heard that they might look at me, but I thought it would be during my senior season, I mean,Missouri is a really good school and a big time program in the SEC. So, this is a real honor."Jones said.
Grant Jones is not only familiar with the Tigers football program. He has some insight most Missouri football recruits will never have. His father is Missouri running back coach Brian Jones.
Grant and I spoke about his Dad's reaction, and any advice he gave him about recruiting.
"My Dad was really surprised. Maybe even more then I was. He said that he wasn't in the room when the staff watched my film or evaluated me. He didn't know this was coming either. And even though he coaches at Mizzou, he gave me advice as a father and not a coach. He said for me to wait and that we will take some day trips to some other programs and see them and compare to make sure what was right for me and so that I would be able to make the decision on my own, " Jones said, and also added that his father had a big impact on him as a player.
Even though he is the son of an assistant at Mizzou and more familiar with the program then most, I asked Grant about his thoughts on Missouri the school and football team.
"I know the whole coaching staff and they are more like a family. They are all good people and good coaches. I know some of the players and the are good character people. I like the family atmosphere and how they are all like family. I have basically been a Mizzou fan since I was five. There is a good chance that I will probably end up committing, but I will wait until after my senior season and until after I see what else I have to compare it to and looked at the other schools."
"I will be going to Missouri's junior day on March 2nd,"he said.
Grant informed me that Memphis has also been the other school that has been recruiting him early, but that he really didn't have a list of favorite schools. Although he did mention Oregon and LSU as schools he has liked in the past.
The athletic Jones completed his first year of varsity football in 2012, and only his 3rd season of playing football overall. He reported lift maxes of 260lbs in the bench press, 365lbs in the squat and 265 in the power clean.
We talked about what position the Tigers were recruiting him at.
"They said they like me on both sides of the ball and that it would be decided later. That I could player either defensive end or tight end with them. I would prefer defense after playing both ways this year, but I like catching the ball. Right now I would say that what I do best is running after the ball and always trying to make plays and playing hard,"said Jones.
While he doesn't have a major picked out for college, Jones knows what he will be looking for in a college besides football and good academics.
"I will be looking for a good college town,"he said. " That's one of reasons I might end up committing to Missouri if I do, because I really like the college town atmosphere. I will also be looking at the atmosphere on campus and how everyone gets along and is friendly."