2019 power forward Jared Jones opted to make an early verbal commitment to Auburn, Bruce Pearl on Thursday, he and his father tell Scout.
“Every time I go there, I feel like I’m at home,” Jones said. “They make me feel comfortable there. It just feels like home. They involved me and I felt comfortable.” http://www.scout.com/player/204716-jared-jones Jones’ father, Craig, echoed his son’s comfort level and feelings about the Tigers.
“Jared is comfortable there,” the elder Jones said. “When were started this recruiting journey, my advice to Jared was to go to a program that really wants you and where you really fit. I always counted on him to tell me where he felt like was the best fit.”
“From the moment he felt like he stepped foot on campus, he was able to develop a great dialogue with coach Pearl and Chuck [Person],” he added. I want him to be comfortable and enjoy the environment and people. When I saw him on Auburn’s campus I hadn’t seen him more comfortable anywhere else.
Jones has been to Auburn unofficially more than three times, including for Auburn’s football game against Clemson the weekend of September 3rd and their summer team camp.
“At the beginning of this month, it hit me,” Jones said. “The time before when I went with my mom for team camp, I had been there a lot and liked it. I just felt like every time coach would come watch me play, I felt like someone was watching me and I would play great.”
According to Jones and his father, the relationships he built with Pearl and Person, the associate head coach, were a big part of the decision.
“Coach Pearl saw Jared when he was a seventh grader at a school in Jacksonville,” Craig Jones said. “He’s been following and recruiting him ever since. He never forgot Jared since seventh grade. Between him and coach Person, he came home and said ‘dad that’s the place.’ My thing is you can only go one place in this basketball life and you got to make sure the fit is right and you’re comfortable. Jared is going to be on that campus and be with a group of men that are going to be like parental figures when I’m not there.”
“They are always giving me tips and advice about stuff,” the younger Jones said. “How to play the game and playing smart not hard all the time.”
Jones picked the Tigers over significant interest from a host of high major schools. To go with visits to Auburn, Jones also took unofficial visits to Florida State, Florida, Miami, UNC, Duke, Wake Forest, NC State and Tennessee.
Although Scout has only released a ranking of 25 players in the 2019 call, when the list is extended further, Jones, who is touted as a four-star recruit, is likely to be included.
“I feel like I bring versatility to the table,” Jones said. “They might need a big and they might need someone to grab it off the rim and push it up the court. I feel like that’s what they need, because that’s what they say need.”
Jones started his high school career at Potters House in Jacksonville (Fla.), before transferring to Mableton (Ga.) Pebblebrook, where he will play this coming season alongside five-star 2017 point guard Collin Sexton.
Auburn has been hot on the recruiting trail lately, as they currently hold the No. 1 recruiting class in 2017 and already have a five-star pledge in 2018. Jones is Auburn's first commitment of the class.