Louisville jumps in mix with JUCO cornerback

Louisville is looking for a junior college cornerback to help out in the secondary next season. The Cardinals recently began to express interest in Santonyo Jones, a talented 5-11, 185-pound corner from Phoenix (AZ) College. Is Jones interested in Louisville?

Jones, expected to graduate from Phoenix College next spring, is getting strong recruiting attention from Louisville and several west coast programs these days.

"Santonyo is getting some Pac-10 interest – Oregon, Oregon State and Arizona and (Louisville) coach (Steve) Kragthorpe just called about him," Phoenix College coach Mark Meija said.

Jones will make his first official visit this weekend (Nov. 29).

"I'm getting ready to take a trip up to Oregon State this weekend," Jones said. "I'm hearing from Oregon State, Oregon and West Virginia…my coach just told me Louisville called. Texas Southern just offered me a full ride."

Louisville recently hosted two of Jones' teammates on official visits – defensive linemen Peni Fiuangaihetau and Tevita Finau. The Cardinals have also shown interest in Phoenix College quarterback Robert Benjamin and the Louisville coaching staff plans to check out Jones and his teammates next weekend when they play in the Valley of the Sun bowl game.

"Two of the other guys at our school said they might go there (Louisville)," said Jones, referring to Fiuangaihetau and Finau . "So if they go there and (Louisville) offers me too I'll be going there with them."

Fiuangaihetau and Finau told Jones very good things about Louisville. "They said they liked it a lot," Jones said. "They said they feel like they can go in there and play and help the team out a lot."

A few favorites are starting to emerge on Jones' list.

"Right now it's Oregon State, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Louisville if they follow through with the offer," said Jones, who is from Norfolk, Virginia. "It could come down to Oregon State and Louisville."

Though many teams avoided throwing to his side this season, Jones still came up with seven interceptions.

"I like playing zone but I'd rather play man to man," Jones said. "I played safety last year so I'm a pretty good tackler. I want to go to a program where they play a lot more man than zone."

"Wherever Santonyo goes he's starting – he's going to compete to start," Mejia said.

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