DB: "Miami's Big Time"

At 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, Lake City (Fla.) Columbia standout wide receiver/cornerback Rashaun Jones was taking a break from football this afternoon when I caught up with him.

"I'm just chillin at the mall in Gainesville," Jones said. "We've been training real hard as a team this summer and I think we're going to be pretty good. We just have to get some d-linemen to step up and we'll be straight."

Jones has spent most of the summer lifting and running with his teammates. He also went to camps at Florida (NIKE) and Miami.

At the Gainesville NIKE Camp, he was 178 pounds, ran a 4.59 on grass, jumped 34 1/2 inches, and ran a 4.2 shuttle.

"I've gained about 10 pounds this summer and I have my 40-time down to about a 4.45," he said. "I'll be going both ways this year -- wide receiver, defensive back, and also returning punts, blocking field goals, all the special teams stuff. I never want to leave the field."

Jones said he enjoyed his camp experience at Miami, especially since it gave him a chance to compete with some of the nation's top wide receivers.

"There were a bunch of good receivers at Miami," he said. "Guys were saying the best one was some dude from De La Salle (Cameron Colvin) but I didn't see it. I didn't think he was all that. I went up against him three times one-on-one and he caught one ball and it was on a slant. He stopped after that. I told him he was scared and he didn't catch a ball on me the rest of the day. So I think I matched up pretty well."

Jones, who finished last season with 12 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns on offense and 96 tackles with six interceptions on defense, also competes in track (4x4, long jump, and high jump) and basketball. He's been playing football since he was nine.

"I can both on both sides in college," he said. "But it doesn't happen much so I'll probably play on defense. I like to hit people. It's not that I don't like being hit because I do but I'd rather hit someone else. I'll probably end up playing safety or outside linebacker if I keep growing."

Jones currently has over a dozen scholarship offers and is being actively recruited by two other major programs.

"LSU, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, Syracuse, South Florida, Central Florida, Louisville, Kentucky, Alabama, Nebraska, Georgia, Bowling Green, and Michigan State," he responded when asked if he had any scholarship offers. He's still waiting on two big ones, though.

"Miami and Florida State are still waiting," he said. "I know Miami likes to wait. They recruit the best guys every year so they're probably just waiting to see which ones step up. That's cool because they'll see me ballin this year. If they thought I was good at camp, wait till the season starts."

Jones said the Hurricanes and Seminoles are among his early favorites along with LSU, Florida, South Carolina, N.C. State, and North Carolina.

"Those are the ones I'm leaning more towards right now," he said. "I like Miami and Florida a lot. Florida's about a 30 minute drive from here and if they come with the right stuff, I'll look at them hard. Miami's big time. I like them cause of the way they play defense. They're in your face and that's what I like. That's how I play. They have the competition too."

Jones was asked how much more interest he'd have in Miami if he were to get an offer.

"They're one of my top five right now and I don't got one yet," he said. "They said they're gonna look hard at me and I just have to show them whats up. If everything goes well, they're straight."

Jones said he can't wait for the season to get started and wish his team played a tougher schedule.

"We'll be straight," he said. "I wish we could play big names every week. I'd love to play Seabreeze and pick off a few of Xavier Lee's passes. I want to win just as much as anyone else but I'd love playing against the best."

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