Texas Athlete Worth a Look

Texas is a state where high school football reigns supreme. Indeed, the state produces some of the top - if not the top - football talent in the country every year. Texas is filled to the brim with legitimate Division I talent, and one of those talents will come from Texas powerhouse Converse Judson, where one of their starting defensive ends is set to receive a lot of recruiting attention.

Kouri Jones is a 6-foot-5-inch, 205-pound defensive end/outside linebacker prospect who has started for Converse Judson since his sophomore year. According to coaches at Judson, almost no one in their program starts - let alone plays - much as a sophomore, yet Jones bucked that trend due to his superior athleticism.

"He's the best athlete on our team," said Judson assistant coach Joel Call. "Every year we run what is called a Rhodes test, which is a comprehensive test that involves forty time, squats, bench press, agility tests and everything else, and Kouri Jones tested better than anyone on our team."

Last year it was Chris McCallister that was rated as Judson's best athlete, and he was subsequently met with offers from Big 12 programs before eventually signing with Baylor.

This time it will be Jones who will be entering next season season as Judson's best-tested athlete. Jones ran a 4.58 forty during his last testing period, and had a 275-pound bench press, among other stats. It was that type of athleticism that led to Jones being named a First-Team All-State selection for juniors last season.

Jones plays defensive end but is used frequently to drop back in coverage, and when Judson goes to a sort of a 3-4 formation he's often lined up at outside linebacker, where he's often used to cover zones and man-up on certain offensive players.

"They use me to do a lot of things," said Jones regarding his role in Judson's defense. "I feel that I'm pretty versatile and I'm good at dropping back into coverage and I'm good in my lateral pursuit. Outside linebacker is probably the position where I'll play in college if I get that chance."

So how does BYU figure into the mix with Jones - who isn't LDS - and why should BYU fans be interested in him?

"BYU coaches have tape on him," said Coach Call. "I dropped off tape to the coaches a few weeks back and we'll see if they show interest."

Call is LDS and is a regular at BYU's summer camps, where he helps coach the camp attendees and will do so again this season. Call has sat down with Jones and educated him on BYU and what type of school it is.

"I know that BYU is a unique place that has very high standards," related Jones. "Coach Call told me that he felt I was the type of kid who could fit in well there, so yeah, I'm interested in BYU and what they have to offer."

Jones has yet to receive his first scholarship offer despite receiving a lot of mail from some top programs around the country. A lot of this is due to Jones not having attended any summer camps. Jones hopes to change that this summer, as he's set to attempt at least two Nike camps locally.

"I definitely want to play college ball, so hopefully I get some offers," said Jones. "Right now I'm just concentrating on football and helping out my team here at Judson. That's my only priority right now."

Concentrating on football and only football is a common practice at Converse Judson, as the coaching staff is very intent on guarding against "big heads" that can prove detrimental to the team and its overall performance. Coach Call cites a couple of players who received early attention at Judson and how it led to some underperformance their senior seasons. For this reason, the Judson coaching staff often filters the vast amount of mail that some of their top athletes receive.

According to Call, Jones is easily one of the better athletes Judson has had over the last few years and is a definite Division I prospect. So who does Jones have his eyes on early in the recruiting process?

"No one really," answered Jones. "I've always liked Texas Tech and they're sort of my favorite school, but I really haven't thought much about college. I'm just focused on my final year at Judson and we'll just see who offers me."

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