Super OL High on UM

At 6-foot-5 and 301 pounds, offensive lineman Mike Jones hasn't been on a recruiting visit for a few weeks, but has been working real hard inside the weightroom.

"I've been in there with my brother Jim, who is a left guard for the Ravens," he said. "We're in there for about two hours five days a week. I'm up to 301 right now and I'm benching about 375. I just want to prepare myself the best I can."

Jones also spent a week in Texas for the national all-star game earlier this month.

"That was a lot of fun," he said. "I was working real hard to play well for my team. They had me playing right guard and it gave me a good chance to go up against some very good defensive linemen."

Jones said he went up against three pretty good tackles during the game.

"I went up against Xavier Lawson Kennedy, a kid named Malele and a guy named [Carnell] Stewart," he said. "They gave me a good challenge because they use a lot of different types of pass rush moves, bull rushes and stuff like that."

Jones, who said he hung out mostly with guys from the Midwest during the week, is also an elite level defensive lineman. However, Jones has no interest in playing defense.

"I enjoyed playing it in high school, but I'm an offensive lineman," he said. "My brother actually started his career at Notre Dame as a defensive lineman before moving to offense. I'll be an offensive guy to start out."

The standout lineman has two official visits remaining before he'll make a final decision.

"I go to Tennessee this weekend and then Penn State the following weekend," he said. "I've been to Notre Dame, Miami, and Iowa so far and really enjoyed all three places."

Jones was asked if he had a favorite or two at this point in the process.

"Not at all," he said. "I'm still looking at a lot of different aspects of the whole process. I'm looking at the little things. One of the things I did on my visits was look at the coaches and how they were. I thought to myself is this the kind of guy I want to be playing for. I'm also looking at the school in general. I try to picture both how I'll fit in as a student and how I'll fit in as a player."

So how did Miami grade out compared to the local programs?

"Oh man, Miami was great," he said. "They had a lot of what I was looking for. The coaches were awesome. I really like Coach Kehoe and have from day one. He's an awesome guy and an awesome coach. And the school is great. It's a good academic school and the football side, you can't beat that. The winning tradition there is amazing. I really like Miami right now but I can't say it's further ahead the other two. I really enjoyed all three places and it's tough for me to say which of the three I liked the most."

Jones said he'll look for those same things during the next two visits and then make a final decision.

"I'll sit down and think everything over with my family," he said. "I have some great opportunities with those schools and I want to pick the one that gives me the best opportunity. They're all good places so I might have a really difficult time picking one that beats the others."

Jones, who has offers from all five schools, said having a brother that played for the Irish won't factor into his decision.

"He has helped me in terms of what to look for during the recruiting process," he said. "Basically you can't always believe everything everyone tells you because it all can't be true. You have to watch for certain things. But he made a decision that was best for him at the time, which was several years ago. Now I have to make the best decision for me so that won't play a part at all."

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