ECU first to offer 2017 Florida quarterback
Just last week, Bolles quarterback Mac Jones had no football scholarships and just two years of high school football under his belt. That didn’t stop East Carolina, however, as offensive coordinator Dave Nichol and the Pirate coaching staff felt comfortable enough with the rising-junior to extend a 2017 offer. “It was obviously very exciting,” Jones said. “Your first offer is always a big one and it’s kind of a relief really, it’s good to get it out of the way and ECU is definitely a place where I would want to get it from.” A considerable distance separates the 6-foot-2 Jacksonville, Fl. quarterback from Greenville but the potent ECU passing attack was enough to catch his eye and piqué his interest. “Obviously (ECU) had one of the best passing offenses in the nation last year,” Jones said. “Shane Carden threw the ball a lot last year and that’s definitely my strength and I really like that and their offense is pretty powerful too so it’s a good fit.” While the Pirates stand as his first official offer, Jones is already drawing interest from a number of Atlantic Coast Conference teams as well as Southeastern Conference schools. When talking about his factors, Jones admitted that being close to home would be nice, but there are other variables that carry weight as well. “Close to home would be one but I’m looking to get a degree because life after football is a big thing,” he said. “But the coaching staff is a big one too. You obviously want to like the coaches you’re going to play for so that’s a big portion of it.” The distance to ECU is something he said he could get over as well. “It’s really not bad,” Jones said. “My parents are going to be up there every time watching me. It’s not too far, it’s not all the way up north or anything like that so location isn’t too big of a problem for me.” Current ECU quarterback Cody Keith serves a connection to the Bolles high school product. Jones and Keith have built a friendship from their time together at local camps and the Pirate signal caller hasn’t been shy about recruiting Jones. “(Keith) tells me a lot about it. He said the facilities are nice and the field is really nice,” Jones said. “We’ve talked about it a little bit and he said that I’d really like it and it’s a good fit for me as a passer. I haven’t been up there but I’m open minded to see what they show me. He’s going to have some influence on it.” Jones still has two more years in high school and it’s evident that ECU won’t remain his only offer for long. He’s preparing for his junior campaign at Boles and noted that putting on weight and building his frame will be his biggest focus for the upcoming season. His arm, however, isn’t an area of concern. “My passing game is very solid so I can throw the ball really well. I’m athletic, I can run if I need to but passing and my accuracy is definitely the key to my game,” Jones said. Jones noted that he intends to visit ECU this summer as part of a seven-day bus tour that would take him to an array of schools. Once there, he hopes to meet head coach Ruffin McNeill and continue his development with the coaching staff.
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