Spartanburg, SC QB Cornelius Jones is one of the primary dual-threat signal callers on Michigan's early radar. The talented athlete's star is now on the rise, but the Wolverines may benefit from getting in on the ground floor.
Over the course of the last year, Spartanburg SC QB Cornelius Jones has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the rising prospects in the 2010 class. The 6-3, 185-lb athlete was so impressive during summer passing drills that major colleges like Michigan began giving chase. Even he was surprised when the Maize & Blue came a callin'.
"It was like last summer," said Jones in response to when Michigan started courting him. "I was real excited about it. But they officially offered me not too long ago."
His newfound status was a lot to process initially, but nearly it wasn't nearly as tough as the adjustment he'd have to make on the field in the fall.
"It was kind of half and half season -- some went good, some went bad," Jones admitted. "We were 5-6, we went to the playoffs, and we got beat in the first round. Our team was just coming together. This is my first year starting, so I was a new quarterback. Next year we should be better."
Michigan was clearly impressed with Jones, as evidenced by their recent offer. He has spoken with the coaching staff in Ann Arbor a number of times in recent weeks, and it's safe to say that the interest is extremely mutual
"I've been liking them," Jones said of the Wolverines. "(Michigan) has always been one of my favorite college teams. It would be amazing to play there because there are so many people that would be there in attendance… and just the people that they've sent to the NFL and stuff like that. The success that they've been having that is what made me like them. I've been liking Michigan."
While it's very clear that Michigan is a strong early presence in Jones' recruitment, there are a number of other programs that are serious factors as well. A recent visit to Georgia Tech made the Yellow Jackets more significant players for the Palmetto State standout. In the coming months, others will have an opportunity to make similar impressions.
"I definitely plan on visiting some schools," he reported. "I plan on trying to come to Michigan. I am definitely going to try and do that. Right now, other than Michigan, I would like to go to Georgia, Duke, and West Virginia."
Among the factors that will weigh heavily in his final decision are academics and fit. Jones is a strong student, boasting a 3.5 GPA and hoping to major in business.
"The most important thing, I would say, is if it's a good school," he said. "Do I like the way the school looks? The team? The people there? The education? Football stats? Stuff like that."
At this point Jones claims no favorites and is approaching his recruitment with as much of an open mind as possible. He has no set timeline, but has given thought to the idea of committing early. What if he were to go on one of the aforementioned visits and was blown away by the experience?
"I would think about (committing), but I wouldn't do it," he said.
By taking more time Jones believes he will have a better opportunity to more thoroughly vet all of his suitors. It also leaves the door open for others to enter the fray. The door isn't closed to anyone… even those far away from home.
"Distance is not an issue, really," he said.
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Jones in the coming months.