Florida Running Back Invited to Iowa Season Opener

Recruiting has a lot of twists and turns, and in some instances, it's not always what you know but who you know that helps open a door. Such was the case last January in Orlando when Iowa was introduced to Vernon Jackson, a future commit. Out of that meeting and the research that later ensued, Iowa noticed another prospect that they are in very good with right now; running back Dontae Jones.

During a Capital One Bowl practice the Hawkeye coaching staff was fortunate enough to be introduced to Vernon Jackson, who later signed a letter of intent.

When the coaches had returned to Iowa City to view the film of Jackson, a junior running back also caught their eye.

"Our principal, Mr. Wilson, somehow knows all of the coaches at Iowa," running back Dontae Jones said. "He introduced Vernon to them, and then they told Vernon that they wanted to recruit me as well. It was shortly after Signing Day that I began receiving a lot of interest from Iowa, and now I've spoken with Coach (Phil) Parker quite a few times."

That has led to Jones setting his first official visit to Iowa, as he is slated to arrive in Iowa City to watch the season opener against Ball State on September 2nd.

"Coach Parker told me they wanted to bring me up for the season opener, and I set an official visit for then. He told me they liked my size and speed, and I know that when he came by our high school to watch me workout, he was impressed that I was able to bench 330 pounds as a running back," stated the 5-foot-11, 211-pound Jones.

Iowa has yet to offer Jones, which he admitted to being a bit confusing given the fact he was invited for an official visit.

"I think a big reason I haven't been offered yet is that I only played five games last season. I nearly rushed for 1,000 yards but couldn't quite get there," said Jones, who rushed for 740 yards and ten touchdowns in 2004. "I'm sure they want to see a few games of my senior film, but I know the interest has to be serious if they want to bring me up for a visit."

Jones would be right, as college programs are limited to the number of official visitors they can host, and the fact that Iowa wants him to come in for the first game lends even more credence to his assumption.

Either way, whether it's been from his principal or Vernon Jackson, Dontae has heard nothing but great things concerning Iowa.

"Vernon makes Iowa sound like the best school in the world," added Jones, who is already qualified with a 2.7 GPA and 920 SAT. "He left here a couple days ago to get up there, and I know he was ready to go. He loves their weight room and how they do things up there, and I know the weight room is where he is going to live. He already benches 450 pounds and he is a beast out on the field."

Lastly, Jones has already received offers from Temple and Florida Alantic and admits there are others he'd also like to hear from.

"I really like Iowa and can't wait to get up there so I hope I get one from them. I know that Colorado State, Central Florida, Georgia, and Pittsburgh have all talked about offering, and I've also spoken with coaches from places like Iowa State, Auburn, and Ohio," Jones stated.

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