Upland athlete sets Navy official visit

Navy and Air Force play this weekend at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo. The two are also battling on the recruiting front for the services of Elijah Jones, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back from Upland, Calif. Jones has 11 D-1 offers, but tells GoMids.com he's giving the two service academies a long look.

"My Navy offer came in May," Jones said. "We've stayed in close contact ever since. I talk to Coach Jones once a week and Coach Niumatalolo once every couple of weeks. Navy attracts me because if you graduate from there you're set for life with getting the opportunity to play high D-1 football. They play against top programs like Notre Dame every year. They'll be joining the American Athletic Conference where they'll be competing against schools like UCF. You also get to play in the Army-Navy game. It's the only game on television that day and one of the great games of the year in college football.

"When I started the recruiting process I looked at the service academies and it was a no-brainer. I've been talking to both Navy and Air Force since my sophomore year. Air Force has one advantage over Navy in that it's just a one hour flight to Colorado as opposed to six hour flight to Maryland. I'm taking an official visit to Navy on November 1st for the Notre Dame game. It will give me the chance to see how it is. It's easy for me to say I thinking about going to Navy, but I want to see first how it is being that far away from home. I've never really been that far, but I am open to the idea and I can't wait to visit."

Jones said he toured the Air Force campus this summer and will be going back this weekend for the Navy game. He said when he gets back from his Annapolis trip he'll be close to making his decision.

"If things stand as they are, and i don;t have any more offers, then I'll be ready [to commit] soon after the Navy visit," he said. "I would like to take an official visit to San Diego State because their coaches have been showing me a lot of interest and it's only an hour and a half from my school.

"If the campus feels like home, if I'm comfortable with the coaches, and if I feel like I can come in a make a the strongest and earliest impact, will be the key factors in making my decision."

At Upland High School, Jones has 32 tackles, four pass breakups, four tackles for loss, a one fumble recovery in his third year as a starter. He alternates between free and strong safety but says Navy has told him they like him at cornerback.

"Navy has said they like how I come up in run support and my aggressiveness in man coverage. I think I'd fit well into both defenses, Air Force and Navy. With Navy, I watched them in the Ohio State and Rutgers games. I watched Air Force take out Boise State and then saw them fall to Wyoming. I thought the defenses played well."

Upland is in San Bernardino County in Southern California's Inland Empire area. The team, the Highlanders, is coached by Tim Salter who has led them to three CIF southern section championships.

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