Louisiana's Top Defensive Prospect for 2007

When looking at defensive prospects in Louisiana's 2007 recruiting class, the name that stands out from the rest of the pack is that of Southern Lab safety Chad Jones.

When looking at defensive prospects in Louisiana's 2007 recruiting class, the name that stands out from the rest of the pack is that of Southern Lab safety Chad Jones.


Jones, who stands at 6'2" 215 lbs. with a 4.5 time in the 40, was named first team All-District and first team All-State in Class A during his junior year, after accumulating 84 tackles and four interceptions.


For his outstanding performance and tremendous upside to be a big hit at the next level, Jones is Tiger Rag's top defensive player in Louisiana for 2007.


The Jones family may be familiar to many sports fans, as Chad's older brother, Al, is a member of the LSU defensive line and was heavily recruited out of St. Augustine in New Orleans in the 2005 class.


Although he has already received 17 football scholarship offers from schools across the country, the biggest question Chad faces regarding his future is not where he will play, but what he will play.


In addition to being one of the country's top football prospects, Jones is also a standout player on the baseball diamond, and is projected to fair well in the MLB draft.


"I've already been contacted by a bunch of schools about baseball," he said, "I'm not sure which sport I want to pursue yet."


On the gridiron, Jones has been in contact with colleges as close as in-town LSU and as far away as UCLA, but says there are five schools he really likes with two standing out above the rest.


"I'm interested in LSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Florida State and Florida a lot," Jones said, "But the two schools I really like are Miami and LSU."


When asked what makes these five stand out, Jones explained that each of them have unique qualities he likes.


"I liked Miami a lot as a kid," he said. "When I visited there with my brother, I really liked the campus.  It also seems like all of their defensive backs make it to the NFL.


"LSU has a home feeling to it. When I go onto the campus, I can mess around with the players like big brothers."


Jones has been in contact with LSU Offensive Coordinator Jimbo Fisher a good bit and got a call from LSU head Coach Les Miles on the first day coaches could contact players in the spring.


"I feel like I could give the tours at junior day at LSU," Jones stated. "I went to junior day twice with my brother and then again this year. I've gotten to know the LSU facilities and program very well."


Another reason Jones has been giving thought to the Tigers is the possibility for him to be a multi-sport athlete at LSU.


"I've talked to the LSU baseball coaches about it," he said, "and they have no problem me playing both sports."


With baseball over and spring football practice in full swing at Southern Lab, Jones has received visits from coaches at LSU, Florida State, Southern Illinois, Virginia Tech and UCLA during spring training, and he says more visits are likely before the team closes practices in mid-May.


Coaches across the board have said they like Chad's ability to get to the ball quickly, and that he never seems to get tired, playing wider receiver, tight end and even punter in addition to safety.

"It turns out I can punt pretty well," he said jokingly, "I never even tried it before this season."

Thought is name has been known throughout Louisiana for a while, Jones' time in the capital city has been relatively short, dating back to the beginning of last football season.


Chad started his junior season as a member of the St. Augustine squad but moved north to Baton Rouge just hours before the season was scheduled to start.


"The day that we were supposed to play the jamboree, we all had to evacuate New Orleans because of hurricane Katrina," Jones said. "After about a week, once we found out what was going on in New Orleans, people said we should plan to go to school in Baton Rouge."


The Jones family has a strong history at Southern Lab, with Chad's great-grandfather serving as the school's first principal, so the school became the natural choice for him to attend.


"It's kind of funny," Jones laughed with talking of ending up at Southern Lab. "A bunch of my family members graduated from Lab, and my grandpa has always said he wished I could have gone there. I guess now he got his wish."


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