Recruiting couldn’t be going much better for Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge LB Jonathan Jones. Recent offers from Miami, South Carolina, and Michigan are indicative of word about his outstanding showing during his junior campaign finally making the rounds.
“My football season was a blessing,” said Jones. “We went 9-2. We won our district championship for the first time in like 85 years. We got in the first round and ended up getting beat by a team named Fletcher. Still it was a great year. I’m definitely hoping for more. I had good stats. I want to say I had 120 tackles with, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and I want to say four or five deflections, and about five sacks. A lot of good players shined last year. It was a great year… a blessed year for us.”
Jones obviously played a huge role in that success thanks to his menacing sideline to sideline presence. More and more suitors are taking notice, as evidenced by his tally of his 15 scholarship offers. The 6-2, 210-pounder has college coaches salivating over his versatility.
“I don’t really have a preference,” said Jones regarding his collegiate position. “I’ll play anywhere. If they want to move me down to D-end, I’ll do it. I just want to play football honestly. I’m an inside linebacker, a lot of schools say I’ll probably be a hybrid. Some schools say I might be a safety. Mostly inside linebacker or hybrid linebacker.”
That’s where Michigan envisions him playing, and though a decision isn’t on the immediate horizon, he has been envisioning himself donning the winged helmet. Upon picking up an offer from Jim Harbaugh & company a few weeks ago the Wolverines immediately shot to the top of his list.
“The Michigan offer was definitely out of the blue,” he said. “That was the last team that I thought was going to pop up. As soon as I started researching the school, I was very, very pleased to get that offer. They’re actually #1 on the list right now to schools that I’m probably going to go to honestly.”
“I want to go to school for business and they’re #11 in all business schools. Out of all the offers I have, they were ranked (the top) business school. Jim Harbaugh got there and also I’m looking for a school with a good alumni base system – they definitely got that. It’s Michigan, very deep rooted tradition. That’s why they’re #1.”
Kentucky and Duke currently round out the top three, and holding point in Michigan’s effort to maintaining its advantage is new recruiting staffer Chris Partridge,
“Basically I’ve talked to all the defensive coaches,” Jones said. “The main coach that I was talking with was Coach Partridge. Me and him have had a lot of contact these last couple of weeks actually. Any time I call him… I think the last time I called him was 9:30 (Saturday night) when I called… he picked up and he talked to me. They’re very often. They just want to talk. Whatever I want to talk about, anything I want to talk to about, it seems like they would be comfortable talking to me and giving their advice on things. They just seem like real cool people and they seem like they want to do good things for the players.”
That initial impression bodes well for the Maize & Blue since it’s among the key criteria Jones will evaluate before selecting a school.
“All the things they have, I want,” he said of the Wolverines. “Alumni base, how deep are their alumni, how many people are following them. What they can do for me for my four years and what I can do for them while I’m there. And they have a good business school and their staff (is good also).”
The next big step in the courtship process is for Michigan to get the talented youngster up to Ann Arbor for a visit. If everything goes according to plan, Jones will actually make his way to the Great Lake State a few times before reaching a decision.
“Me and my parents just talked about it (I’ll visit Michigan) as soon as possible,” he said. “I actually just set up a date, September 25, 2015 to be up there on my official visit. As soon as possible as I can get there. A good chance that I’ll probably be there in the summer.”
“I’m not sure (about a timeline for committing to a school). I’d have to talk about it with my parents. It has definitely been in my head to when I want to commit. I think I might commit pretty early. Here in Florida, they have a media and I think I might commit around. It is a little bit around after our spring game. I don’t know the exact date. I don’t really have a set time, that’s something I’m still thinking about.”