Sun Devils in Linebacker's Top Three

You may not have heard much from Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton's Anthony Jones, but that's not to say that his recruitment activity has been dormant. The linebacker is being pursued by several Pac-10 schools, as well as a Big Ten program and he is in the process of setting up his official visits. Devils Digest talked to Jones to get the latest concerning his recruitment by ASU and his other suitors.

"Arizona State is in my top three with Minnesota and Arizona," said Jones.

The linebacker stated that the Sun Devils coaches "have always made me feel at home…I know it's a school I can come in and play early," he remarked. "I also know a lot of people there and it just feels comfortable." He added that he tentatively scheduled for an official visit to the Sun Devils on November 28th.

Jones commented that he doesn't know much about Minnesota and looks forward to learning about the Gophers when he visits there on December 13th. "I like the coaches a lot there too," he said. He added that there was no specific reason why he liked the University of Arizona, whom he visited just once during junior day and that he hasn't set up an official trip to Tucson yet.

"Washington and Washington State are recruiting me hard too," remarked Jones. "I might visit those schools in January. I'm just waiting until my season is over, because then I'll know for sure when I can visit."

With only one of his serious suitors located outside the Pac-10, Jones claimed that he's open to playing away from home. "I really don't know which conference I'm gonna end up at," he said. "I'll go wherever I feel the most comfortable, a school that has good academics and a team I can play early."

As a junior Jones was named 1st team all region after recording 110 tackles, one INT and six sacks. After missing the Huskies' first two games in 2008 the weak side linebacker has registered 55 tackles, three sacks and an 82-yard interception that was returned for a touchdown.

"I had a big year last year and I had a lot to live up too," said Jones. "I know what I'm capable of doing and I'm having a good season so far. As long as the team is winning, I'm fine with that."

Anthony Jones listed his speed and cover abilities as his strongest attributes, but added that his deficiency is "Sometimes I'm being over aggressive and playing so fast that it can take you out of the play…he takes you out of the cutback lane.

"I think my style would be good for ASU, because they like to have fast linebackers running to the ball. I can cover running backs and slot receivers and I'm faster than the normal linebacker."

Jones' parents unofficially visited the ASU camps a couple weeks back and came away very impressed with the program and what it had to offer. "They liked the academics and they know that I will get my (academic) work done here," said Jones. "I'm close to a lot of people I know down here and my parents would want me to go to a place like this."

The linebacker and his family are also impressed with the personality of Jones' recruiting coach at ASU – defensive line coach Grady Stretz. "Coach Stretz is believable," described Jones. "And I heard from other players that he recruited that he doesn't mess around and always keeps it real with you. The coaches there keep you on the straight and narrow."

The linebacker acknowledged that having a few of his ex-teammates on the maroon and gold squad could play a factor into his decision. "Coming into a new program and already knowing some of the players on the team is good," he explained.

Hamilton is 10-1 thus far and on Friday will host cross-town rival Chandler HS in the second round of the state's 5A-I playoffs. "Some people think we're down," said Jones, "but we'll show people what they think we don't have. We're young but we can do it.

Jones stated that he doesn't have a timetable for his decision. "I want to commit early," he explained, "but I don't how many visits I'm gonna take before committing. I guess it all depends what I see at the schools I'm visiting.

"If I find a place where I feel comfortable, can play early and it has good academics that's where I'll go to."


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