RECRUITING: Jones enjoyed visit with LBers

Tampa Middleton's A.J. Jones gave his verbal to Florida four days ago. The outside linebacker took his official visit this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Gators who make up the current and future face of the position.

(A.J. Jones profile)

"It was a real good visit," Jones said as his voice rose. "I got to see the place that I'll call home the next few years. I hung out all weekend with Brandon Siler, Brian Crum, and Dustin Doe. It was unbelievable. They showed me all around town and campus, and really let me know what it was like around there. Brandon was my host this weekend and it looks like I might be rooming with Dustin."

It was seemingly the culmination of a busy weekend for Jones. He visited Columbia, South Carolina a week ago where he got the opportunity to see former teammates O.J. Murdock and Stoney Woodson. On Wednesday, he boarded a plane for Atlanta, where he announced his decision on "Countdown to Signing Day".

"I flew from Tampa to Atlanta with Jamie (Newberg), he recalled. "We all chilled out when we got there. They took me out to lunch and when we got back they showed me the studio. It was really cool. We just basically talked the rest of the time until the show. It was a real blessing to get that kind of exposure."

While it wasn't it first visit to Gainesville in the past few months, Jones said that it was significant because there were things that opened his eyes.

"I was impressed with the academic support," he stated. "I mean everything is there in place for you. There are so many people involved and resources and stuff that you can't go wrong with Florida. It's hard to get into school at Florida. I'm thinking that I might go into the Business program. I'm not sure, but that's what I'm thinking about now. The academic program is top notch. That was just impressive, you know?"

I asked Jones about the strong contingent of Tampa Bay area players on campus this weekend. Obviously, it was hoped that an impression was made on offensive lineman Daron Rose.

"I'm not really sure what Daron is thinking right now," he said. "Sure, we hope that he decides to go (to Florida). I don't want to push him. He has to make up his own mind. I know I didn't like it when people were pushing me about a school. I just tried to show him different things. He was having a great time from what I saw. I hope that he joins us. We always had talent (in Tampa Bay). We didn't get the publicity that Dade, Broward, and Polk (counties) do in football. It's finally getting the credit it deserves and I'm glad that so many of us are going to be together in Gainesville."

That's a sentiment that is happily received by Florida fans everywhere.

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