Visit Scheduled for Spartan Prospect

Jones, a safety prospect from Tampa, Fla., who is interested in pursuing engineering, will visit MSU later this season for an enormous game against the Big Ten's best.

Jairus Jones wouldn't mind braving frosty Midwest winters to play football and go to school at Michigan State.

The Spartan coaching staff wouldn't mind it either. That's why they stay in close phone contact (as much as is allowed by recruiting rules) with the safety prospect from Tampa, Fla., and send him a steady stream of mailers, too.

Jones was born in Michigan and lived near Detroit for eight years while his father, James Jones, played fullback for the Detroit Lions. He also played for the Seattle Seahawks.

"I'm pretty used to the cold weather up there and all that," Jairus says.

Jones points to Devin Thomas and Drew Stanton as players that come to mind when he thinks MSU, having paid more and more attention to the Spartan program as he has progressed through high school.

Secondary coach Harlon Barnett has led the recruitment of the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Jones. A trip to the Tampa area allowed coach Barnett to evaluate and meet the young man in person.

"He's a pretty cool dude," Jones says, adding he thinks Barnett and his father originally met as players in the NFL.

He plays free safety and strong, but at the high school level his reputation sometimes pigeonholes his role. Teams tend to throw away from his side of the field, so his role is mainly as a strong safety who, many times, functions as an extra linebacker.

Also, "Teams try to run on us all the time so they have to move me up into the box," he says.

Recruiting for Jones, who runs a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, seems to be nearing a climax. He says he has offers from his three favorite schools: MSU, LSU and Nebraska.

Does he feel pressure to make a decision soon?

"I sorta am, because I don't want to risk it and get hurt during the season, and they might take it away after that," he says. "Then again, I'm not really sure where I want to go yet."

But for now, official visits to his top-three are on tap, including a trip to East Lansing for the Ohio State game.

"I'm taking the three to Michigan State, Nebraska and, hopefully, LSU," he says. "The other two will come after the season if I don't make my choice by then."


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