Jones: 'I still love Miami'

Shortly after returning home from his visit to the University of Miami last month, Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater standout defensive tackle Aaron Jones said the Hurricanes were in pretty good shape. That remains the case today, even after a successful visit to Florida State last weekend.

"Man, I still love Miami," Jones said. "They are in the lead right now. I've always liked Florida State. I like the coaches, Coach Haggins, the players, everything. They're still high on my list. The visit there was awesome. I had a great time and it was fun chillin with all those guys. It's just that right now, I feel better about Miami."

At 6-2 and 270 pounds, Jones spent a week in Texas for the Army All-American Game where he became close with teammates Willie Williams and Fred Davis.

"We were all chillin," he said. "There were a bunch of us together but my crew was mostly me, Willie, and Fred. Those guys are really cool. Willie likes Miami and Florida State a lot too and Fred likes Miami and Southern Cal. We think it would be cool playing together somewhere."

When Jones stepped onto the field for the game that Saturday afternoon, he was ready for one player in particular.

"I had heard about this center who was ranked as the No. 1 player in the whole country," he said. "Byers was his name. I was like, 'give me Byers, where is he?' The best linemen that whole week was this kid named Alex Fletcher from New York, who played on our team. I still think Big Matt (Hardrick, a 6-4, 350-pound junior teammate at Edgewater) is better than most of the guys that were there."

Jones, a full academic qualifier, returned home and began preparing for his visit to Tallahassee.

"Me and Kenny had a great time," he said. "We had a lot of fun. There were some differences compared to Miami, like being able to see how dedicated the Miami players are when they practice. That was a big deal to me and it still sticks out. Those guys were so serious and it was only a practice."

Two days after Jones and Ingram returned home from Tallahassee, they each received an in-home visit from nearly half the UM coaching staff.

"It was crazy," he said. "They called to tell me that Larry Coker was coming by the house and it turned out four of them showed up. I was real impressed by that. They said they came to see me, Kenny, and Joe (Joseph) and they already scooped Joe up. They kinda blew me away. They showed how serious they are. They went over everything and it all made sense."

A short time later, a couple Florida State coaches showed up.

"It was weird because one time before, Florida State was coming as Miami was leaving," he said. "It was kind of a weird situation but on Tuesday it was different. FSU's tight and everything but some things just aren't adding up right. I just wanna make sure I make the right decision. Some kids don't do that and I don't want that to happen to me. I favored Florida State all along but maybe now Miami might be the best place for me, I don't know yet. I just need more time to think about it."

The talented defensive lineman, a full academic qualifier, will have roughly 13 days to think. Jones and Ingram will replace me on Countdown To Signing Day on Wednesday, January 28 -- when they'll each announce their college choice.

"We're probably gonna do it separately," he said. "We're not even sure we're gonna go together yet. I'm going to Georgia this weekend and then N.C. State next weekend before I'll announce. Miami and Florida State are the two leaders still, though."

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