Lakeland (Flor.) Lake Gibson defensive end Reuben Jones recently committed to Nebraska. The Huskers were looking for another defensive end in the class opposite Omaha (Nebr.) Central DaiShon Neal. Jones is a different looking player than Neal on paper (6-foot-3/223-pounds) and when you see him on film you can see that he plays the game differently as well.
First thing that you notice about Jones on film is that he’s not just lining up at defensive end. In fact, if you are quick enough to catch if you will see that he’s actually inside in the B gap likely outside shade of the OG at the three. You see Jones beat the guard through the B gap and make the sack. While Jones doesn’t have the type of frame to play inside at the next level you have to value the experience especially if he ever plays the spinner and lines up at the second level.
I see Jones more at a five, possibly a seven, or in a two-point as an outside backer that Nebraska could move around and blitz. He is athletic enough to do it and he has one thing – that at any position – you can’t coach and only the best players have it: heart.
Jones starts out with his hand in the dirt at the 24-yard line, he rips and gets close to a sack. But, it was a completed pass and Jones gets off of the ground and gives chase. When Jones hits the ground he’s actually at the 15-yard line. Jones catches up to the wide receiver at the opposite 24-yard line and makes the tackle. Few players would attempt to even try to chase down that receiver…less would actually catch him.
And let’s get something clear…this is a good level of competition in Florida. Jones off of the edge can just get up the field faster than the offensive tackle can kickstep and just runs around the lineman. You see the speed when he shoots the C gap and again when he lines up at the three and basically comes free (running back tries to pick him up).
The speed is there, but you have to love playing under control. Against the read option – which Nebraska fans saw a bunch of last week against Minnesota – Jones stays home and absolutely punishes the quarterback.
Jones plays in an attacking style defensive line and is best suited for one at the next level. He lines up at a couple of different spots and has an impact at both spots. He has an impact running at him, he has an impact running away from him. He also has an impact in the passing game getting to the quarterback, batting down passes when he can’t get to the quarterback and even chases down the receiver 60 yards downfield.