Bowden Discusses Newest Tiger

CLEMSON – Tommy Bowden got the last laugh after all. Markish Jones, the highly coveted wide receiver from the Upstate will be a Clemson Tiger, after the National Letter of Intent services announced its ruling Friday afternoon.

Jones, a senior at Broome High, had first signed his letter of intent with Clemson on national signing day, but he never faxed it to the school's office. A short time later that same day, he signed a letter of Intent with Florida State and did fax that to the Seminoles.

It was just assumed since he never faxed it to Clemson, Jones was on his way to Tallahassee, even though it was believed that he had some reservations about his decision.

However, Jones told every media outlet that would listen that he was happy that he signed with Florida State and wanted to play there.

But the National Letter of Intent services, located in Birmingham, Ala., ruled that since Jones and his mother had signed the one for Clemson first that it was the one that was binding and not Florida State's.

"This is the icing on the cake for an already strong 2007 recruiting class," Bowden said. "Markish is one of the top prep players in the East and we are very excited that he has signed a letter of with Clemson. He is an outstanding all-around athlete, who not only excelled on the football field, but also in track."

On signing day when it seemed that Jones was going to Florida State, Bowden joked that when he spoke to his father Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles' head coach, that he couldn't understand what the old man was saying because his father was laughing too hard.

However, there are likely other reasons why this ruling took place.

A short time after Jones signed with Clemson, his high school coach started calling all the schools that had recruited him to inform them that he was going to play for the Tigers.

When the coach called Florida State, tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator John Lilly asked if he could speak to Jones.

Jones then got on the phone with Lilly and the two talked for several minutes. After the two hung up after a long conversation, Jones signed with and faxed his letter of intent to Florida State.

However, a rule on the letter of intent says:

"I understand all participating conferences and institutions are obligated to respect my signing and shall cease to recruit me upon my signing this NLI. I shall notify any recruiter who contacts me that I have signed an NLI. Once I enroll in the institution named in this document, the NLI Recruiting Ban is no longer in effect, and I shall be governed by applicable NCAA recruiting bylaws."

Members of the Clemson football office turned all the information they had over to the ACC headquarters, which promptly reviewed it and handed over to the National Letter of Intent services, which operates independently from the NCAA.

This ruling seems to have finally put to rest where Jones will play football next year. But with the way things have been going lately, time will tell. Top Stories