FB RECRUITING: Andre Jones update

Florida defensive back sticking with UK commitment...

One of the most highly-regarded prospects to commit to Kentucky during this football recruiting season was close reversing field and running away from the Cats.

An 11th-hour decision, however, has found Andre Jones right back where he started.

"I'm going to be a Kentucky Wildcat," he said from his Ft. Walton Beach (Fla.) home on the eve of national signing day. "I was thinking about heading to Tulane with the probation Kentucky was facing and all those sanctions. That's what had me changing my mind, but I found out I was getting some false information.

"I knew about the bowl game and the scholarship reductions, but other people were telling me they weren't going to be allowed to play on TV for three years as part of the probation. That really had me scared, but I found out that was false, and I was told (UK) is going to appeal the bowl game, so that made me feel better."

Jones said the loss of UK seconadary coach Rick Smith (who took the defensive coordinator's job at Georgia Tech, but was later forced out due to controversy surrounding his credentials) also made his decision tougher.

"I really loved coach Smith," he said. "He seemed like a great man to me and my family. He was in here on our couch several times, and I had a great relationship with him.

"I hated to hear what happened to him. I wish he was still at Kentucky."

Since Smith left the Cats, Harold Jackson assumed the responsibility of keeping in touch with Jones.

"I like coach Jackson, too," Jones said. "Really, I have a good repoire with their whole coaching staff. That was one of the reasons I chose them to begin with.... Kentucky's still the best fit for me all things considered. That's why I'm going there.

"I'm just relieved to have this over and behind me."

Jones said he's running track in the offseason to keep in shape for football. He's participating in the 100-meter, 200-meter, the 4x100, the long jump and the high jump.

Recruited as a defensive back, Jones (5-11, 185, 4.4) recorded 54 tackles and eight interceptions as a senior at Choctawhatchee.


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