On Tuesday, UCLA stopped by Highlands Ranch (Colo.) ThunderRidge to take a gander at three-star offensive tackle Sam Jones, who is far from as nondescript as his name would suggest. Then again, he's not the savior of the universe, either, but he's definitely a man in demand.
Jones – a solid 6-foot-5, 275 pounds – is an animal in the weight room, bench pressing over 375 pounds, squatting nearly 500 pounds and cleaning 275, so it's no wonder why Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, Kansas State, Oregon, Oregon State and Wyoming have already jumped on board and offered. There is another program coming by very soon, as well.
California offensive line coach Zach Yenser is head-over-heels for Jones, and is stopping by ThunderRidge later this week, potentially with an offer in hand.
"He used his call on Saturday and I talked with him a bit. He said that they really like my film and that they're going to come on out and see me, and that they'd have an offer for me, but they want to come out and see me first," Jones said. "I guess they're probably just doing the eyeball test, making sure I'm as big as I say I am."
Jones has only spoken a few times with Yenser, but from the tape the Bears have seen, it's apparent that he could be a good fit in the new Bear Raid.
"I really didn't know much about them. When they started calling, I started to research them a little bit, but I've been pretty busy lately, so I still don't know very much about them," said Jones. "I like the O-line coach I've been talking to. He sounds like a pretty cool guy, and I've got him on Facebook and Twitter and everything, so I've been looking at him, and he seems like a pretty cool guy."
ThunderRidge runs a primarily run-oriented offense, rushing 655 times for 3,795 yards compared to 1,718 passing yards on 93 completions in 201 attempts. As for the ins and outs of Cal's offense, that's a conversation that Jones will have with the Bears once an offer has been extended.
Jones is keen on playing in the Pac-12, which would mean potentially returning home to play several times.
"I think it's definitely cool to come home every once in a while and play in front of my family and everything, so that would be pretty nice," Jones said. "The Pac-12, even if I'm not playing close to home that often, that wouldn't be too bad."
There is one program that would seemingly be an instant contender if it offers -- Alabama -- but Jones would rather commit to a program where he could see some early playing time.
"I mean, I don't want to say I'm content with my offers, but I like the Pac-12 a lot, and there's always the ‘Bamas and everything, but I want to play early, so that's probably not going to be a possibility at ‘Bama," Jones said. "I want to play early, so pretty much any school that's up for letting me play early is one I'm pretty interested in."
Right now, Jones is gearing up for a veritable hell week of spring football, which will include three straight days of three-a-day practices before school ends.
"Spring ball starts on the 20th for us. We don't do much in the spring. We do a lot in the summer. Obviously the rules are a little bit different. We'll have camp for three days, we've got three-a-days during that camp, but we really start turning it up during the summer. The spring camp is just to get a look at the new kids coming in," Jones said. "It's wake up, run, practice, chalk talk, practice, chalk talk, practice and then, meetings and bed."
Jones is quite aware of the consequences of misplacing the ‘sleep' in the schedule, as it means extra conditioning as punishment.
"Yeah, that's the worst thing to happen: Falling asleep during meetings," Jones laughed. "The hills are not fun the next morning."
Once that ordeal is over, Jones will turn his attention to scheduling unofficial visits.
"If they offer, I'm definitely going to try and get out to see them," Jones said of the Bears. "I've been to six schools now, and I have seven offers. K-State is the only school that's offered that I haven't been to. I'm going to try and get unofficials to all of the schools that I'm interested in this summer, and narrow it down to who I want to take officials to during the season."
Jones Could Snag New Offer in a Flash
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