In their rankings, Scout.com has Jonathan rated the 14th best running back in the entire nation. He's got the moves, the speed, the size, the heart and the work ethic that makes a player an All-American. But he also has that specialness that makes him an All-American off the field.
"In his entire 16 years, he's never been in any kind of trouble. He's a big brother, not only to his brother, but he's been helping Wyatt Johnson, a kid who is going into the third grade and who wants to be a running back on his rec team," said Keely Dwyer, Jonathan's mother. "Jonathan's been working with him for about two or three months, once or twice a week. He used to come and watch Jonathan play. He and Jonathan are very good friends and talk very often on the phone. Wyatt went with Jonathan to the Georgia Tech football camp and they spent the entire day together."
Jonathan helps people out in other ways as well.
"Jonathan works with Awana, a Christian group at our church," said Keely. "He's one of the leaders in training."
And he hopes to continue being a leader in his community once he is out on his own.
"He hopes that one day he can open a school where kids can go that instills prayer and has a class on character," said Keely. "A person asked him if there was one impression that he could leave with people what would it be? Jonathan said he would like to be remembered as a man of character and standard."
And based on the number of scholarship offers that he currently has, he's also going to be remembered as an outstanding football player.
"I've received 51 scholarship offers. It's been overwhelming. I never thought I would receive as much attention as this," said Jonathan, who has received offers from all the schools in the SEC and everybody in the ACC except for Duke, Wake Forest and Miami.
While it's been more than Jonathan expected, there is no doubt in his mom's mind that he's earned everything that he has received.
"We knew that Jonathan had put in the work. Jon had a goal set when he was 9 or 10 that he wanted to be in a position where he would be able to support himself. When he found out that, sports-wise, he could get a scholarship, he really worked hard and dedicated a lot of his time and his father's time in doing that," said Keely.
Although he's open-minded to all schools when it comes to recruiting, Jonathan is most interested in two conferences.
"I'm, basically, looking at the schools in the SEC and the ACC. But schools from the Big Ten like Ohio State, Michigan and others are ones that I'm also interested in," he said. "Right now, I'm trying to find a place that is a home away from home."
One of the SEC schools that has offered him is Mississippi State. Jonathan and his mom talked about where MSU figures in his recruitment.
"I have interest in Mississippi State. I like (MSU head) Coach (Sylvester) Croom a lot and (MSU recruiting) Coach (Shane) Beamer," said Jonathan.
His mom provided the reasons why MSU continues to be in the running for her son's signature.
"We've looked into it and pulled up some information about them as well as a couple of articles on Coach Croom," said Keely. "It seems to be a pretty good school. They have a great coaching staff. Right now, we are trying to get information about their academic department."
And Mississippi State's just one of many they are still evaluating, hence the reason Jonathan hasn't narrowed his list to a smaller number.
"We really haven't made any final decisions yet. Jonathan hasn't made a final (list of) 5 or 10 (schools)," said Keely.
She explained what criteria they will use to narrow the list.
"It's not all about football and playing," said Keely. "We are trying to find a school that he will be able to get a degree and that he will get the academic support that he needs. Basically, Jonathan is looking for a place he can call home away from home."
And a place where he can compete not only in football but also in track.
"His first loves are football and track. Jonathan's expression of track is that when he's running he's free," said Keely. "He would like to do both, but I don't know if the universities will allow it. If they do, then he would do (track) to keep in shape."
But those schools better step to the plate soon if they want him to do both because he's on the verge of cutting his list down.
"After this month, I'm going to try to get it down to a top 8," said Jonathan.
Check out Jonathan in these two videos.
Video 1 -
Video 2 -
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.