A Q&A With All-Star P.J. Jones

Tupelo High School senior defensive lineman P.J. Jones, who is on the Mississippi high school all-star team that will play the Alabama high school all-star team Saturday night in Mobile, Alabama, gives his thoughts about the Mississippi team as well as how his recruitment is going.

What have you seen from the Mississippi offense that has impressed you?
P.J. Jones - "The offense is up tempo and we have some skill kids that such as (Nickolas) Brassell, Tobias (Singleton) (Qyendarius) Griffin and all those guys. And Aaron Morris from Callaway is a good tackle. That is who I go against every day."

How is it going against him in every practice?
"It's definitely good competition. In high school everybody is not as talented (as him) so I had to get serious. Here, it's the best going against the best so you have to bring it everyday."

On the defensive side, who. of the ones you didn't really know much about, has really impressed you?
"(Cortez) Hartzog and (Christian) Ringo, I don't really know those guys. It's kind of nice to see other athletes out here just as good as you competing."

What do you think is the primary attribute of this Mississippi team?
"Definitely the speed. They say speed kills. You watch the SEC. I think our defense is very fast and I think our offense is picking up on the them. I'm just ready to get after them."

What's it been like for you being down here a few days and staying a few more leading up to the game. Is it almost like a college atmosphere?
"Yeah, being away from home it's kind of makes it feel like I'm in college surrounded by your brothers, your teammates, pulling for each other when the times get hard. It's a good experience for me. I love being down here."

Recruiting-wise, what colleges are you still considering?
"Arkansas, (Mississippi) State and Ole Miss."

What do you like about those three colleges?
"Arkansas has a great program and the largest weight room in the country. I like working out so that's a big factor for me.

"(Mississippi) State is on the rise. Coach Mullen has those guys believing in themselves. And they are playing really good. That's not saying Ole Miss is not good. They just had a bad year from injuries to guys not doing right. It's just everything.

"What I like about Ole Miss is I like Coach Tyrone Nix. They play good defense, balls to the wall. (MSU defensive coordinator) Coach Diaz is the same way, mixing up stuff. I asked him, when he was at my house, where he came up with those blitzes. He was like, it's not the way you blitz because you can do the same blitz in a different formation, put different people in different spots, so it looks like a different blitz but it's not. You move people around all the time and keep them guessing."

Of those three schools, is one leading the other two?
"Right now I would say it is safe to say that State is probably ahead right now because they are genuine in what they are saying. You know how some kids get to college and it's not what the recruiters said it was."

Who is recruiting you for State?
"Coach Sallach. He's a genuine guy, a really good coach. (Ole Miss) Coach Tyrone Nix and Coach Price are genuine too. And (Arkansas) Coach Caldwell is too. I just have to decide what is best for me and where I will fit in and where the playing time is and get in there and contribute to the team if I can."

What position are you being recruited for on the college level?
"D-tackle, really. Coach Nix said I'm athletic enough. That's one of my pros, I'm athletic enough to play the three-technique or outside. Anywhere they want to play me, I'll give it my best."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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