For Jones, Father Knows Best

Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge LB Jonathan Jones will spend the coming months comparing and contrasting the strengths and weaknesses of his five remaining sutiors. Helping with that effort every step of the way will be Jones’s parents. The talented youngster’s father sat down with TMI recently to highlight some of the important advice he is passing along to his son.

Sam Webb:  Has the recruiting process from a parental perspective been fun or has it been overwhelming?

Charles Jones:  “It’s been fun.  You’re looking at the experience of being invited out here to Nike.  It’s not overwhelming because you have a plethora of information out there, internet, people you’re talking too.  So when people start telling you, we want your son or we have this to offer them, so you can compare it, apples to oranges.  It has not been that taxing, plus Jonathan does a lot of research himself.  So he comes to me and he says different things to me and I’ll bounce it off of my wife, so it’s been fun really.  We’re Christians, so we always go to the lord and say hey lord, where do you want him to be and he’ll speak to you, so it’s been great.”

Sam Webb:  In talking to him he has said, ‘my parents ground me.  There have been times when I’ve been sure that I wanted to do something and they would say, hey wait a minute, take some time and that’s how you’ll be sure.’  Has that happened often or just a few times?

Charles Jones:  “It’s life.  He’s a kid, and so we try to share things that we went through in life.  Jonathan, I don’t care what’s going on with football and things, when you come home, hey you still got dishes to do.  You still got garbage to take out.  You still got to work on this time management thing.  You still got school, I know you want to go to the movies and go to this, but time management is key.  You need your rest.  He’s catching on to it.  He’s still young, still rambunctious wanting to do things, but basically keeping him humble.  We show a lot of love in our house.  We always sit down and talk.  If he don’t talk to me, he talks to his mom, his sister or his brother.  I think all those things play a part.”

Sam Webb:  Have you been on many of the recruiting visits with him?

Charles Jones:  “The only visit, we did an unofficial visit to LSU and he did his unofficial visit to Michigan, September 25th we go to Notre Dame and that’s going to be an official visit.  So that’ll be the first official visit, and my wife and I are kind of breaking it up.  So when he does his official visit to Michigan, she’s going to go with him and I think we’re both going to try and go when he goes to Stanford.”

Sam Webb:  He’s been pretty consistent in saying that Michigan is out front for him.  What has he told you guys about Michigan and what do you know about Michigan?

Charles Jones:  “I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, so I know it’s cold (laughter).  We know it’s cold, as far as the school, my thing when I talk to all the schools is what you have to offer him for life after football rather it is college ball or professional ball.  Michigan has an awesome program, so does LSU as far as life after the sport is over, because at the end of the day, you still want to be a success if you’re not on the field.  I’ve talked to the Coach once and his recruiting coach, Partridge, I’ve talked to him a few times.  After a while, all of them start sounding the same, so you try to find that ah-hah moment or that nugget that you’re looking for.”

Sam Webb:  Let’s pretend he’s at the point where you guys are sitting down and he’s ready to make a decision.  When he does that, what are going to be the most significant factors in that choice?

Charles Jones:  “It’s going to go about how far he is from us because of course we want to attend his games, weather conditions.  I’m trying to explain to him, if you’re up north, you can’t just put on a pair of slip and slides and some shorts and go outside.  You have to fully dress.  Is he going to be happy, can he adapt up there in the north or wherever he goes, can he adapt?  You have to realize this is where you’re going to live for four years.  We try to give him a little bit of leeway but as parents, we can tell him about different things in life, but we try to give him a few nuggets.  If you go too far, we may not be able to see you as often as we would like.  School breaks you may want to come home, well you may not be able to come home if you way out in California.  There are a lot of different factors and like I said, praying.  That’s the key, it is key – seriously.”

Sam Webb:  Any coaches in particular that you’ve started having a little connection, with?  I know he’s talked a lot about Duke that is up there, any of those schools, any of those coaches starting to stand out to you yet?

Charles Jones:  “No not yet.  Like I said, everyone’s game plan is sounding similar.  Notre Dame, I do like the fact where they have this program…he wants to get into business, entrepreneurial where they send the kids abroad and learning how they do things and that’s critical.  I went to school for business myself, so knowing about the currency and doing your homework in areas abroad is crucial.  I like their program a little bit.  The coaches, we’re only allowed to talk to them so much, especially the head coach, but the recruiters, we keep in touch pretty much.”

Sam Webb:  Do you have a timeline for when you guys would like to have it all over?

Charles Jones:  “We were looking at trying to have it done before the season starts, but as life goes, sometimes it doesn’t work as you planned.  After he does his deal in September, goes to Stanford.  We want to get it done, we want him to be happy, so like we said, he’s going to be there for four or five years.  We’re trying not to rush into it.  We know a lot of people commit for whatever reasons, they feel if maybe they don’t commit now, they won’t get it later.  It’s looking pretty promising for Jonathan, so we’re not rushing the issue, we’re just trying to seek out all the different avenues because I didn’t go to college right after high school.  I joined the military, I’m a retired veteran, so things are a little bit different now.  We’re just doing our research and not taking our time per se, but we just want to dot our Is and cross our Ts.” 

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