Kansas State's Michael Smith is back at his high school alma mater in New Orleans, Jesuit, in hopes of landing one of the state of Louisiana's top returning players. Deion Jones, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound middle linebacker had 13 Division 1 offers to his credit prior to the Wildcat proposal.
"Coach Smith contacted my head coach [at Jesuit] and asked if I would call them," said Deion Jones. "When he (Smith) said I had an offer I was excited. They're a really good school from what I know so far. I'm still doing my research since I didn't really know too much about them. A connection is there with Coach Smith being a Jesuit grad. I want to make it up there sometime."
At the beginning of his junior year, Jones started receiving recruiting attention with his first offer coming from Southern Miss. His other 12 offers include Arizona, Florida International, Houston, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, UL-Monroe, Memphis, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pitt and Tulane.
"I was able to make it to three camps over the summer," Jones said, "ULM, Tulane, and Alabama. "I thought I performed very well. The coaches loved me at ULM and Tulane. I came away from both with offers. The coaches at Alabama liked me, but said I was too small at linebacker for their system."
Jones took All-State honors in Louisiana 5A as a junior. He was also placed on the All-New Orleans Metro team and was named Defensive Player MVP in 5A District 10. He made 118 tackles from his middle linebacker position, made three sacks, and four tackles for loss. On offense, Jones rotated in at wide receiver catching four passes for touchdowns.
"The biggest improvement I made [a year ago] was catching up to the speed of the game," Jones said. "My first year as a starter I had a hard time with it. I became more of a well-rounded player with help from my coaches. I paid closer attention to detail. It was really a blow up year for me."
With 14 offers on the table, Jones is hoping he's able to make a decision before the season. With only nine returning starters coming back from a 10-3 season, he wants to get focused on leading the Blue Jays in his final year at the school.
"I'm probably going to decide by the beginning of the season," Jones stated. "I want to major in Physical Therapy or Sports Medicine, so I'm looking at the school's curriculum. I'd like to play for a well-rounded team with good coaches and a nice family environment.
"I want to get better at everything in my last season. You can always improve. We'll have a lot of young guys startin,g so I want to step into a leadership role and help take the team to State."
A good student, Jones reports a 23 on the ACT and a 2.5 GPA at the academically challenging Roman Catholic school for Boys. He's played basketball at the school since he was a freshman making the varsity squad this past winter. Jones' best time in the 40 yard dash is a 4.43. Jones goes by the nickname "Debo."
Jesuit takes on Bonnabel in the 60th Annual Kiwanis Club of Lafayette Football Jamboree on Thursday, August 25th.
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