Jones Talks about Decision

Mark Dantonio and his staff added their fourth verbal commitment for the Class of 2012 as Evan Jones has given the Spartans his verbal pledge. Spartan Digest spoke with Evan to get the reasons he decided to become a Spartan.

The recruitment of Evan Jones may have surprised some of those in Spartan Nation in the past week. Don't worry; it also surprised Jones who didn't play football until his sophomore year in high school. Why is Evan surprised by his recruiting path?

"I am the first Division One recruit to come from Ridgewood, so my coach and everyone around are so new to everything involved in the recruiting process. It is all shocking me right now."

Making an unofficial visit to Spartan Stadium last weekend proved to be very productive as Evan was given his verbal offer by Mark Dantonio prior to the Spartans spring game.

"I went up to Michigan State for the spring game and was getting a tour of the facilities when my recruiting coach, Mike Tressel came up to me and told me to follow him as he wanted to get me in front of Coach Dantonio the tight end coach and defensive line coach. He said he first wanted to get me to Coach Dantonio.

"When I got up there another player, Zach Higgins was there and he said he was getting ready to commit. So Coach Dantonio came out and took Zach back into his office. When Zach came out Coach Dantonio was in a great mood and then I went back to his office and that is when he offered me."

In the excitement of the moment, Evan was ready to pull the trigger right then and there.

"I have been to a lot of places like MAC schools, West Virginia and Ohio State for Junior Days and spring games and checked things out. Michigan State is just like all the other places. I would not say I was blown out of the water. However, the atmosphere and the feeling I got from everything it just felt like I belonged there.

"When I got the offer I almost took it right on the spot. It is Michigan State and it has always been a dream to play in the Big Ten and Michigan State was one of my favorites."

At 6-foot-6, 240-pounds, Evan knows his future on the field has yet to be decided.

"They call me a big power athlete, so I could go either way right now. They just said they will put me wherever it is going to take them further and me further as a player. Personally, it does not matter. I will play defensive tackle, defensive end, offensive tackle or tight end. I just want to play at the next level."

The Spartan coaching staff made a great impression on Evan's first visit to campus.

"The spring game was the first time I had ever been to Michigan State. Now days all colleges have amazing facilities, but really, the big thing for me was the people there. All the coaches and all the attention they showed to me made me feel they really cared and that meant a lot to me."

On other college visits Evan found things to be way too informal and more of a cattle call.

"That is how I felt at a lot of places. I went to Duke's Junior Day and multiple other Junior Days and there would be hundreds of guys around me and you could tell we were all just a number. It felt like I had no significance or any meaning to be there. As soon as I got to Michigan State they knew my name. I don't know how the girls at the desk knew me, but they did and it shocked me."

Heading the strong relationship being built with Evan was his main recruiting coach Mike Tressel.

"Coach Tressel and I have a good relationship. I don't remember the first time he said something to me, but I have been receiving mail from Michigan State for awhile and I really like him and I like all the coaches up there. Coach Tressel came down last week and watched me workout in track and I really like him and feel he is a good person."

If Evan stays as a tight end, he knows the Spartans know how to use the players at the position.

"I really like how they utilize the tight ends. They have so many tight ends but use them all. The tight ends scored two touchdowns during the spring game and that is what I really like."

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