Tigers looking at JUCO corner

The Clemson coaching staff has inquired about this junior college cornerback who played high school ball with two of the Tigers' starters.

CB Riyahd Jones Profile

Former Carver High School [Columbus, Ga.] three-star Riyahd Jones has spent the last school year attending Garden City Community College.

Jones, who was ranked by Scout.com as the No. 109 cornerback in the class of 2011, spent his first season of college eligibility at Georgia Southern. There, he recorded 12 tackles, had two pass breakups and one fumble recovery.

At Garden City, where he just wrapped up year No. 2 of college ball, Jones had 28 tackles, 11 pass breakups, a forced fumble, two blocked field goals, including one that was returned for a 90-yard touchdown.

"The whole process has been bittersweet. I'm far away from Georgia, 18 hours out of the way. But I came out here with a goal, to get back to the division one level, BCS," he recently told CUTigers. "It's been good. I got here this spring, had a good spring ball…the season started and things started picking up. Now that the season is over with, it's been picking up a lot. I'm really enjoying it."

Texas Tech, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Toledo, Louisiana-Lafayette, Ball State and Georgia Southern have offered.

Kansas State and Ole Miss are scheduled to have Jones in on official visits this fall. Texas A&M is another potential destination for the 6-foot, 186-pound prospect.

Clemson has shown some interest.

"A couple of weeks ago, one of my high school coaches was at Clemson. He was talking to coach Swinney directly about me. He said they're going to start recruiting me harder when the season is over with," Jones said.

A full qualifier out of high school, Jones was committed to Kentucky for several months before the two parties parted ways. At the time of his commitment to Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State had also offered.

"As signing day came closer, those schools started getting stacked with players at corner and receiver, so they couldn't offer anymore. At the last minute I picked up offers from Ball State and UMass," Jones said.

Instead of heading north, Jones opted to stay close to home and signed with Georgia Southern. After one season in Statesboro, he took the junior college route, hoping for another shot at a BCS level school.

Now, about a month before he plans to commit, several options are on the table. Though Clemson has not offered, it seems possible that could come to fruition.

"I've been to Clemson three times. It's a real nice school," Jones said. "Clemson was live. I went for two games…I enjoyed myself. Then, I went there for a camp. During my senior year, I got to be around coach [Charlie Harbison] a lot.

"He's a real cool guy. He's a coach I could see myself playing for, because he reminds me of my coach back at Georgia Southern, and he reminds me of him. Coach Cheese was always a cool guy. Whenever I was around him he was cool and straightforward. I like that about him. "

Jones remains in contact with Carver grads Corey Crawford and David Beasley, both whom are starters for Clemson.

"I just talked to Corey two days ago. He was the one that told me about Clemson. I didn't know anything about it," Jones said. "Corey texted me and said, ‘My coaches have been asking about you.' I called him to ask him what was going on. Coach Swinney and coach Cheese have been asking what kind of player I am and what kind of character I have.

"That's what led to them calling my coaches back at Carver. They told me they talked to the coaches directly and that they're going to start recruiting me after the season is over with."

When he enrolls at a school in January, Jones will have three years to complete his final two seasons of eligibility.

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