RECRUITING: A.J.Jones Off To Torrid Start

Linebacker A.J. Jones of Tampa Middleton is off to a flying start for the Tigers. He has amassed 41 tackles from his linebacker spot, while adding 215 yards and a touchdown receiving in three games. He is eager for district play to begin this weekend.

(See A.J. Jones profile)

"We lost to (Tampa) Jefferson in our first game," Jones recalled. "We handed that one to them. We had six turnovers. I think five of them were inside our 20-yard line. You can't do that."

Middleton dropped that contest 28-20 to the last year's state runners-up. They have beaten (Tampa) Robinson 24-21 and (Tampa) Plant 31-21. Their schedule gets brutal down the stretch with future games against Hillsborough, Armwood, and Sarasota Riverview all within a 22 day stretch.

Jones won't be in attendance for Saturday's Tennessee-Florida showdown in Gainesville, even though both teams are among his favorites.

"Friday night we play (Tampa Bay) Tech for homecoming," Jones said. "I would like to get up to Gainesville, but we have our homecoming dance scheduled on Saturday and I've got to go to that."

Jones spent Saturday at the FAMU-South Florida game in Tampa. He said that there were several high profile recruits from the area at the game. One of the reasons was because of the FAMU band, which is a bigger draw than many of the top music groups.

The 6-2, 190-pound speedster has offers from dozens of schools, but listed those who he insists are among his favorites.

"I like Florida, LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, USC, and Tennessee," Jones said. "I won't make my announcement until signing day. Right now, I'm just listening to what they have to say."

FLORIDA: "I'm close to a lot of the guys up there. I would go up and see (Brandon) Siler, (Josh) Portis, and (Avery) Atkins just about every time before the season. I'm close to the coaches. If I were to go there and do everything that I'm supposed to do, I could see playing time pretty soon."

LSU: "Since the hurricane, things kind of lost touch. But, that can't be helped. I just got some mail from them and it looks like everything is getting back on track."

ALABAMA: "If everything works out, that will probably be my only in-season visit. I'm planning on going to the Florida-Alabama game. I'm hoping that it works out. That would be fun. I talked to the coaches the other day. I got to talk to Coach (Mike) Shula and really all of them (coaches). They passed the phone around, so that was really cool."

OHIO STATE: "I get a lot of mail from them. They are a good team and have a great program."

TENNESSEE: "I just got my offer from them three weeks ago. They've been sending a lot of mail, and I think they're really interested now."

USC: "That might be my only other in-season visit. But, I'm not sure if that would work out. We'll see. The coaches called me last Thursday night. They passed the phone around too. I talked to, I think, three of their coaches. I didn't get to talk to Coach (Pete) Carroll. He wasn't there."

Jones offered no favorites among the list of schools. He said that has heard from a couple of networks that he could have a signing day announcement.

He said that he has a 920 and 2.9 GPA. He expects to his GPA to rise as he currently has three A's and a B in his classes. Jones said that from what he has been told, his core GPA could rise as high as 3.1 GPA.


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