OT Oliver Jones Profile
His injury occured while playing in a 5-technique on the defensive end. This fall, he'll play only offensive tackle, where he's ranked as the nation's No. 39 prospect by Scout.com.
On Monday afternoon, he remembered the play with CUTigers.com was on location at Ninety Six High School.
"They were running a jet sweep away from me," Jones said. "The offensive linemen dive at you at the start of the play. I knew that. I was getting back up off the ground and I turned, a pile of people hit the outside of my leg."
"It's not the pain. That's temporary. You're not going to get that time back, the time that you didn't play. The time with your brothers—you're never going to get that back."
With no junior film to show college recruiters, there was a time when Jones only had two offers to speak of—Clemson and South Carolina.
"Obviously, that was big, because everybody looks at your junior tape," he said. "I'm still blessed with what I got. I'm thankful for what I got. Obviously, it happens for a reason."
But it hasn't stopped others from recently joining the mix. North Carolina, N.C. State and East Carolina offered during the current evaluation period. Alabama and Georgia are still evaluating the Scout.com three-star.
Jones listed his favorites, in no particular order.
"Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, North Carolina State, Georgia and Alabama—it's not five, it's six. It used to be five. But Georgia and Alabama, those two are going to be in there," he said.
Monday was the third day of spring practice at Ninety Six. After three days in just helmets, they'll put pads on for Tuesday's workout. Jones will be held out from any contact drills.
"Everybody's been telling me, ‘Don't be stupid about it. Don't come back prematurely and reinjure my leg. That's the last thing they want me to do. I know that," he said. "Unfortunately, through the experience of rehab, I know not to push myself too hard, but I'm going to work as hard as I can."
With just a few weeks left before the end of his junior year, Jones has already started to map out a few plans for the summer.
"I'm going to try to go to a lot of camps. Not necessarily to participate, but Clemson and Carolina, a couple of others, just to go," he said. "Later on in the summer I'll try to participate in a couple of them."
If a decision isn't reached before the start of his senior season, one will be made shortly thereafter.
"I know this is good and everything, big for the town. I don't want that to be a distraction to my teammates or anybody else," he said. "I just want to focus on playing. That's pretty much the most important thing."
ON LOCATION: Oliver Jones
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