NC State was the first school to offer Asheboro wide receiver prospect Emmanuel Jones after an impressive junior season. Since then, other schools West Virginia, ECU and UNC Charlotte have joined the mix and there is no sign of his recruitment slowing down.
Recent schools to show Jones interest include North Carolina and Georgia Southern.
ECU defensive coordinator Rick Smith has led Jones’ recruitment and keeps up with him regularly. Smith visited him at school in December where he extended Jones his official offer from the Pirates.
“Coach Smith calls up and checks on me a lot,” said the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Jones. “He always asks my coach how my grades are going.”
When talking about his offer, Jones had positive things to say about it.
“I like ECU,” said Jones. “It's a great school with a beautiful campus and I believe it has one of the best football teams in the state of North Carolina.”
Jones’ knowledge about ECU isn’t too extensive. In fact, from a football standpoint he just remembers seeing the Pirates “beat up on Carolina” on television last season. He has a cousin who nearly attended ECU this year and visited the school with her, but that is the only time he has seen the campus in-person before.
A few months back Jones mentioned ECU could be in his recruitment for the long haul and that he will be building a relationship with the Pirate coaching staff. He plans on making it out to campus again in the near future.
“I'm planning on coming to a junior day soon,” said Jones. “I know I'm going to a junior day or to a camp at ECU. It’ll be this summer, I’m just not sure what day yet.”
Jones faced adversity this season lining up against multiple Division I prospects on the field. While it affected some of his production, he believes playing against such talented foes will benefit his game moving forward. Last season he caught 40 passes for 693 yards and eight touchdowns in 12 games while also rushing for 128 yards and one touchdown.
Small parts of his game improved during junior season, but other parts will need to be even better moving forward.
“Something I did well as a junior was completing the play-blocking,” he said. “That was one of the main things I wanted to work on was to keep my running back safe when he was coming to my side. I feel like you can't be a good receiver if you can't block. For next season I need to work on coming off of the ball faster and breaking down on my routes.”
ECU should be a prevalent factor in Jones’ recruitment moving forward.