Offensive line commits Nick Buchanan and Ryan Gibson confirmed to BearTerritory that they had been contacted by Jones, and told that he would be their new position coach.
PirateRadio 1250 AM also got wind of the news.
A representative of Cal Athletics could not confirm or deny, but it is the school’s policy not to comment on hirings before they are official.
Jones – who played under Dykes at Texas Tech as an honorable mention all-Big 12 selection at center, and then coached for the Red Raiders in 2007 and 2008 – has spent the last five seasons with the Pirates, who led the American Athletic Conference in yards per carry, with their top four rushers averaging over 6.0 yards per carry, this past season.
Against one of the top defenses in the vaunted SEC – Florida (No. 15 in total defense in the country) – the Pirates rolled up 536 yards of total offense in a 28-20 loss in the Birmingham Bowl to cap off an 8-5 season.
In 2013, Jones produced three All-Conference USA linemen, including first-team guard Will Simmons. That group of linemen helped anchor an offense that established single-season school records for most passing yards (4,265), most total yards (6,086), most points (522), most touchdowns (68) and most first downs (346). ECU’s starting quarterback that season – C-USA MVP Shane Carden -- completed the program’s first ever 4,000-yard passing performance.
On Thursday, Jones was named run game coordinator for the Pirates in a likely attempt to keep him from bolting after offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley left to take the same job at Oklahoma.
On Friday, Jones followed and was followed by Cal’s offensive line recruits on Twitter.
Buchanan said that he will have an in-home with Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin on Friday night, and will get an in-home visit from Jones “sometime soon.”
A second source with knowledge of the situation confirmed that Jones is expected to be announced as Cal’s offensive line coach and indicated that the announcement could come soon.
As a player at Texas Tech, Jones played and coached in the Air Raid system, starting in 22 games, and was a Rimington Award candidate as the top center in college football as a senior.
Born in Texas, Jones was a first-team all-state choice on both sides of the ball at Keizer (Ore.) McNary won a state title as a senior.
Jones will take over an offensive line that returns both starting tackles (Steven Moore and Jordan Rigsbee) and starting left guard Chris Borrayo, as well as veteran Matt Cochran (G/C) and JuCo redshirt tackle Dominic Granado.