Littleton High School running back Mister Jones said he has decided to schedule several official visits to other programs later this fall in the wake of the Buffs' 0-2 start and speculation about coach Dan Hawkins' job security in Boulder.
"I mean, it's obvious," Jones said when asked why he has decided to schedule visits. "They lost to like Toledo and Colorado State the last couple weeks. The CU program isn't doing too good right now."
Jones said there is no timeline right now for when he will make official visits, but he has settled on a few schools he would like to see. Oregon, Michigan, Kansas, Nebraska and possibly Colorado State are on his list.
Jones was at Folsom Field for the CSU game a week ago. He was in the locker room before the game and said it was a much different atmosphere than it has been on previous visits to Boulder in the past. He said several players revved up the team before coach Dan Hawkins uncharacteristically cooled things down . It left Jones scratching his head.
"It was like coach didn't even really say nothing," Jones said. ‘They did a prayer and then some of the players got the team pumped, and coach Hawkins was like, ‘Well, you guys already know what to do. So do what is expected of you and don't do too much.' That's all he said.
"Compared to last year when they played West Virginia before the game, he gave a big speech before the game. I was expecting to hear a speech. Everybody was. That was kind of weird to me."
Jones said he is not concerned with the fact Colorado continues to recruit other running backs in this cycle. He said he understands there will be competition wherever he goes. He is primarily worried that the program isn't producing under the current coaching staff and also that those coaches might not keep their jobs beyond the end of the season.
"As of now, I'm still planning on staying with CU. But until there are changes made, and I'm looking at the negative about the situation, I'm having a backup plan," Jones said. "But until then, I'm going to stick with CU.
"I just want to look around so I can have a backup play just in case anything does go wrong."
Jones said he has an excellent relationship with running backs coach Darian Hagan, whom he speaks with often. He said that relationship is important to him.
"I think he's a real good guy who is looking out for me and wants what is best for me," Jones said.
In the past, Jones has talked about his desire to attend college as close to home as possible. He is a father figure to his younger siblings and would like to be near them when he leaves home for college. That remains a priority, but joining a successful and stable program is equally important. Jones' perception of things in Boulder has definitely been reshaped in the past week. He's hoping it changes again in the near future.
"Man, it's shocking. I mean they haven't even got to the Big 12 yet," Jones said. "They're losing like that already. It's pretty surprising to see how they have started their season, but hopefully they can change their season around."
Jones and the Lions had this weekend off after starting 2-0 with wins over Kennedy and George Washington the previous two weeks. Jones has scored three touchdowns and has rushed for more than 300 yards in those games.
"I started the season pretty good," Jones said. "I'm healthy. My ankle isn't bothering me. I'm just ready to finish off my senior year."