Hanging Out With Auburn And An Old Rival

Speedy cornerback Jonathan Jones discusses his official visit to Auburn where he ran into someone he has competed against for much of his life.

Carrollton, Ga.--Jonathan Jones came into his official visit at Auburn this weekend eager to meet the Tigers' newly-hired defensive coordinator, Brian VanGorder, and he was able to do that on Sunday.

VanGorder, who was just hired by Gene Chizik last week, met individually with each of the defensive recruits who were visiting the Auburn campus.

"He seems like a great coach," Jones said of the former Atlanta Falcons coordinator. "I'm looking forward to getting to work with him. You can tell just by talking to him that he knows what he's talking about. He's a very experienced guy."

Jones said that he and VanGorder got to know each other and didn't talk too much about what the cornerback's future would be with the Auburn defense.

The cornerback, who was joined by his parents on the visit, had veteran Auburn defensive T'Sharvan Bell as his player host. In addition to touring the facilities and spending time with the coaches, Jones said the chance to get to know the players as well as build relationship with others in his recruiting class was a highlight of the weekend.

"It's always good to have good chemistry with the people who are going to be there for the next four or five years," he said. "You know, go out together and have a great time."

One fellow prospect that Jones said he enjoyed hanging out with was five-star Stefon Diggs, who Scout.com ranks as the second-best wide receiver in the nation for the 2012 class.

"There was a group of us, and we stayed together," Jones said of the speedy receiver from Maryland. "We're working on him. We want him to be a part of the family.

"I think he likes it," the cornerback said, noting that in addition to Diggs the other recruits enjoyed their weekend visits. "I think they loved it," he said.

Jones also got to hang out with a visitor he's very familiar with from running track, Jordan Moore out of Martin Luther King High in Lithonia, Ga. Moore is a three-star football prospect and two-time Georgia State track hurdles champion, who was recently offered a scholarship by Auburn to play safety.

"We always had that little rivalry since junior high," said Jones, who won the 110-meter hurdles at the nationals held in Wichita, Kan., last year. "He finally beat me at prelims at some meet. He finally got me, but I had to come back and win nationals. With Jordan, track's his thing. He loves it. Me, I do it to help me play football and just happen to be good at it."

Jones said he is currently lifting weights and running for conditioning to get ready for a few upcoming track meets. "I'm looking forward to just personally improving my times and getting better," he said.

Jonathan Jones is shown at a workout prior to his senior season.

One area Jones wants to be good at is engineering, noting he plans to major in either mechanical or industrial engineering at Auburn. He added that his meeting with an academic adviser on the visit was a productive one.

"It really went well," he said. "We talked about some things that I was already doing now because I'm in an internship right now for engineering," the high school senior said.

Jones said he feels good about his commitment and that he doesn't plan to visit any other colleges before signing day on Feb. 1st.

"Sometimes when stuff just feels right, it feels right, and Auburn's the place for me," he said. "I might just come down a few more times to hang out, but yeah, I'm done (with visits)."

He said he plans to move be moving into his dorm room at Auburn soon after he graduates from high school. "I'm trying to get down to Auburn as soon as I can so hopefully by May."


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