Tigers Eyeing Maryland DT

Waldorf Westlake (Md) DT Derrell Jones (6-1, 295, 5.1) has offers from Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Clemson, Connecticut and North Carolina. He denies a leader between Pittsburgh and North Carolina, but gives the pair a slight edge over Syracuse and Clemson.

Derrell attended Syracuse's spring game, as well as camps at Penn St, North Carolina, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Maryland.

"Every visit I've been on, I've taken three relatives with me--my grandfather, my uncle and my cousin Dontae Jones--who went to Nebraska and played LB for the Steelers, Panthers and Saints. I've also taken my high school coach, Dominic Zaccarelli. The things they say are very important to me because some of the things they say I didn't realize and it opens my eyes. I really take their advice to heart, especially Dontae's.

"At Pitt, they take the charter bus to Heinz Field for practices and games. What's neat is that you could be lifting and see an NFL player (Steelers share Heinz Field with Pitt), and ask him for some tricks of the trade. (Coach) Walt Harris is a nice guy.

"North Carolina has good graduation rates, and they set study hall right after school so by 12 or 1 (o'clock) they're on the field. Their DL drills are from the NFL, drills that they got from (Bill) Parcells and (Bill) Belichick.

"I'm going to go see Syracuse (possibly on 6/29). If there's any reason they're behind Pitt and North Carolina, it's because I haven't been there recently. Hopefully (after going to Syracuse) I'll either make a decision or have an idea of which school should be eliminated. Syracuse is a small school; not that many people live around the football players except other athletes, so it's easy to stay out of trouble.

The Syracuse practice field is just across the street from the dorms, so you're never late for practice. They have a really high graduation rate, something like 83%. I really like the D-line coach because he doesn't dig into you when you mess up.

"Clemson is in a small college town, so you can't get in trouble there. They have mandatory study hall for freshmen football players, and the only way you can get out of it after that is to keep your grades up.

"Maryland hadn't offered me, and I wanted to go to their camp and get an offer, so that I could be closer to home. But when we went up there, it wasn't happening. In their drills they had moves that I'd already learned at North Carolina better than they could teach them (at Maryland). I really wasn't taught any new moves.

"I'm strong and quick for my size, and that helps me really push people aside and make the tackle. I guess I'm a run-stopper mostly, but I'm working on my pass rush. Everybody knows I can bull rush, but what colleges want to see now is if I can use my hands and stay low."

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