Injury Not Enough To Keep Schools Away

Despite not playing as a junior, this big defensive tackle has offers from some of the top programs in the South.

Miami, Fla.--Every year there is a player that comes out of nowhere after not playing football as a junior to become a highly recruited prospect and this time around big Benjamin Jones is a candidate to do just that.

Injured last season before undergoing surgery in December, Jones is now getting close to full strength and teams have started to take notice.

"It's going okay at the moment," Jones tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I'm not really worried about it. Right now I have offers from LSU, Miami, Florida, Colorado, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Florida International, North Carolina. I'm also hearing a lot from Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama."

Auburn's success at developing players from the Miami area is something that Jones says he has taken notice of early in the recruiting process. Playing at the same school in his early high school days as former Auburn receiver Devin Aromashodu, Jones says he's heard a lot about Auburn and plans to check the Tigers out more closely this summer.

"I know they have some good running backs that come out of that school," Jones says. "The only player I know was the receiver that came from Miami Springs."

A 6-6, 280 pound monster defensive tackle, Jones is one of the most physically gifted players in the South this year. As a sophomore starter at Miami Springs High, Jones had 60 tackles and 10 sacks and was a dominating force in his first year as a starter.

Last season Jones transferred to powerhouse Northwestern High for what he hoped would be increased production and exposure in the program. Instead all Jones got was frustration. Injuring his knee the week of the season opener, Jones tried valiantly to get healthy last season but finally gave up on rehab and had surgery for a dislocated knee on December 8.

"I guess it's probably kept some teams away at the moment," Jones says. "I couldn't really do anything my junior year. They were expecting me to do so much but when I got hurt it really hurt me."

Because of the short time between his injury and the start of spring practice, Jones says he's still unsure if he'll be able to participate in spring football drills or not. Saying his knee is better than it has been since last summer, Jones was able to take part in the Combine in Miami back in March and showed why his stock is on the verge of skyrocketing this fall.

Checking in at 6-6, 280, Jones ran a very good time of 5.22 seconds in the 40-yard dash despite still being in the middle of his recovery from surgery. Saying his best 40 time is 4.7 seconds at a camp last summer at Miami, no matter the exact number there is no doubt Jones has the speed and size to be a force on the next level.

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