The Illini were Jones' first offer, and in the end where he wanted to be.
"They were the first ones to offer so when I got the call I was excited. I couldn't stop smiling, because it was my very first offer," Jones said. "And it was in the Big Ten and my in-state school."
The offer was one that changed the standout linebackers perception on his own football career and future.
"I was excited about the offer, but I had to stay humble like I used to be. Illinois stuck with me the whole time through the recruiting process, and they didn't care when I visited other schools. They talked to me to make sure they were still in my top schools but they just stayed with me through the whole process. They would send me pictures, quotes, and it was just really nice how they stuck with me."
Now, Jones has high goals and expectations not only for his senior season at state runner-up Phillips, but at the Big Ten level as well.
"I am honored just to be looked at by my in-state school," jones said. "Coach Beckman told me that if you want to be great you have to make changes not just for yourself by for your family, your community. That helped me think about Illinois. It's not just the CPS, or the Big Ten conference."
More to come on IlliniPlaybook.