Coach: Jones Will Make Impact at ISU

With a pair of Big 12 schools hot on his heels, Oklahoma City Northeast quarterback Houston Jones faced a difficult decision. Iowa State and Missouri both put the full-court press on the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder, and Jones eventually picked his North Division school of choice Monday night.

Many people close to Houston Jones, including his head coach Ron Kroeger, would have probably picked him to stay a little closer to his home in Oklahoma and sign with Missouri. But that didn't end up being the case.

"Missouri was really pushing him," said Kroeger. "He was to the point where he was about to commit to Missouri. He went up there this weekend and they really took care of him. He had narrowed it down to Missouri and Iowa State.

"We've got a kid up at Iowa State right now, Anthony Walker, that could have had a lot to do with it. I think he really enjoyed the visit to Iowa State and really likes Coach McCarney. He liked the people and atmosphere at Iowa State. It's a good facility, with all of the new stuff they've done to it. He liked what he saw and the experience up there."

Jones took a weekend visit to Missouri and had some good things to say about that trip upon his return Sunday night. The dual-threat quarterback also had his high school coach – a Missouri alum and former football player in Columbia – as one of his mentors.

But Kroeger wasn't the influence some Tiger coaches thought he could be.

"A lot of the Missouri guys were asking me to help get him to Missouri, because I'm an old alumni," Northeast's head coach said. "I told them that it was Houston's decision. I don't feel right pushing a young man. All these Big 12 programs are tremendous, and I told him that it was totally up to him what he wanted to do. I'm still a Missouri fan and like to see them win, but in a decision like that, he's got to be happy. If he thinks Iowa State is a better fit for him, he's got my 100 percent support."

The future Cyclone accounted for more than 2,600 yards of total offense for the Vikings this season, throwing for just over 1,800 yards. Despite missing seven games as a junior, Jones still managed to pass for 700 yards and rush for 400 more.

Wherever Jones ends up playing at the next level, Kroeger feels his former standout quarterback will play a big role for a lot of different reasons.

"I think he'll be a good one," Kroeger said. "Anybody who runs that well and has an arm like he does. I think they're recruiting him for a quarterback, because he has a big-time arm and reads secondaries and progressions well. He's a good athlete and smart kid. He's a Division I caliber quarterback, but it's going to take a year or two to get used to that level.

"He's also got room to get a lot bigger. He's a pretty muscular kid right now, but he's got a lot of room to get bigger and stronger. He's one of those kids that you could also line up at split end as a receiver or in the secondary, and he's going to be successful. He understands football well. He's a real good athlete."

ISU wide receivers coach Mike Grant recruited Jones to Ames, and picked up his trail shortly after an impressive sophomore season. In addition to Mizzou, Jones also got attention from New Mexico, TCU, SMU, and Tulsa.


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