Four-Star Juco DT Sees Opportunity At Auburn

Florida State commitment D.J. Jones enjoyed his official visit to check out the Auburn Tigers and sees plenty of opportunity on the Plains.

Scooba, Miss.--The need for help at the defensive tackle position is a big one for the Auburn Tigers and that’s one of the reasons why four-star junior college standout D.J. Jones took an official visit over the weekend to see Gus Malzahn’s club take on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Currently a Florida State commitment, Jones already had a good feeling about the Tigers following a visit to the Plains in May. Coming back for a game atmosphere and getting to spend time with Coach Rodney Garner, he said the experience was a great one for him as he got to see the Auburn defense in action.

“It was exciting,” Jones said. “The game was crazy. The fans were crazy. I had a good time.

“It was refreshing to finally get to see what I have been wanting to see,” he added. “I got to see them move around and how they work. They pretty much did what they had to do last night defensively. I got to see a little bit of it on film. I’m glad I got to see it.”

Like everyone else in attendance and those who watched on TV, Jones saw an Auburn defensive line that struggled to get pressure on South Carolina QB Dylan Thompson at any point during the night. Already a concern, things get even more drastic when you consider the Tigers will be losing seniors Gabe Wright, Angelo Blackson, Ben Bradley and Jeffrey Whitaker after this season, a fact that doesn’t go unnoticed by Jones.

“Seeing how they are losing pretty much all of their nose or tackles, I see that if I come in and work it would be a great place to play,” Jones said of Auburn. “I think they’ll have one guy actually coming back for that spot and he’ll be a freshman (Dontavius Russell). Whoever they bring it, that will be big for me.”

A December graduate, Jones will be able to go through spring practice and challenge for immediate playing time because of getting a head start on learning the defense. With Auburn’s losses that’s another factor that could be in the Tigers’ favor if he decides to make a switch.

“That’s for sure. With me coming in the spring and with the situation (at Auburn) that would be big for me just learning the system.”

Still a Seminole at the moment, Jones said he’s also looking at Ole Miss and South Carolina in addition to Auburn. Already having taken visits to see Florida State and the Gamecocks, he added that he plans to visit Ole Miss as well, but the playoff schedule may interfere with that in the coming weeks if his team continues to win.

With roughly two months until he gets on campus Jones said nothing has changed for him, but keeping an open mind means the Tigers still have a shot and that’s big news for Garner and the future of the defensive line.

“I’m still committed to Florida State, but I just wanted to open back up and see what was out there. I knew what was going on there (Auburn) and that’s what I made it a case to take my official.

“It’s just the way they continue to recruit me,” he added of why he likes Auburn. “Anything can happen, but as of right now it’s 100 percent there at Florida State.”


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