Rated by Baseball America as one of the top 100 players in the country, outfielder, Daryl Jones doesn't have to worry about schools wanting him for that sport. Point of fact, he knows that's what he's best at, but the problem is, he's a pretty good wide receiver as well.
Totaling over 600 yards on under 50 catches and scoring 11 times for Spring high school in Spring, Texas, he's got his followers for that sport as well.
Jones knows, however, that while football may not be his ticket for the future when it comes to the big money in the pros, a scholarship in football is the only way he'll be able to play both sports at the collegiate level.
Well, if he makes it that far.
"Yeah, I will be watching the draft." Daryl said of the major league baseball draft coming up in June. "I'll look at it, see if I am taken and where and evaulate just what that means."
Jones means by saying that, that baseball works differently in that if you aren't the first-round pick, you are out of the big money that first-rounders get in every other professional sport, the lower the round, the lower your paycheck is going to be. In baseball, it's common for players taken in the second round and even farther down to make just as much if not more than some of those taken in the round or rounds prior.
"I'm definitely not going to jump on the gun on that, because you don't know how things will go." Daryl said of the draft. "I'll listen to people that I trust on this and just figure it out when the time comes."
Jones had a good year for Spring high school as he helped his team to the state-final, but it was what he did in the playoffs that probably put his name in their with the top 100 at the prep-level. In the last 17 games, Jones hit .428, knocked out 3 home runs and knocked in 21 RBIs.
That would make anyone confident of his or her ability, but Jones is so confident, that northern schools like Northwestern that aren't necessarily known for their baseball tradition (they finished 26-27-1 last year) don't deter him from taking a hard look. "If you are good, you are good." Jones said. "The league can find the good players anywhere, so I don't necessarily look at the baseball tradition, more the coaching, the education and the opportunity to play in both sports."
Northwestern has given him that opportunity, thus the official visit he has scheduled for the Wildcats on the 14th of this month. Recent contact from Urban Myer, a coach that had been recruiting him to go to Utah, has Jones now looking Florida's way as well. So, for Jones, he says that considering the time, he's looking at two schools that he will be looking at for that final visit and that will come down to Georgia Tech and Nebraska.
Jones said there wasn't a criteria so much to figure out who that final visit will be to, as he's leaving it more to his gut. "It's not real complicated, just finally making a decision on which one gets the visit." He said. "I have had good conversations with all the coaches from both schools, so I'll figure it out from there."
From the Husker baseball team, pretty much anyone that can recruit Jones is. And, from the football team, it's a name familiar to all Husker fans, especially on the recruiting front. "I've gotten along real good with coach Blake." Jones said of defensive line coach, John Blake. "He's a real down to earth and funny guy."
It's going to be a signing-day decision for Jones, but he said that he's trying his best to work out the visits as soon as he can, so that he can just take them and decide. And, as for a leader, Jones said that to say he has one just wouldn't be fair, because he hasn't done what is obviously the most important part in figuring out where he wants to go.
"You have to see the place and get a feel for everything there before you really know what to think." Daryl said. "So, I am keeping everything really open until I have some teams to compare each other to and I'll have a much better idea about that."
Make no mistake that Daryl is hoping that it will be the MLB in his future as that is the sport he sees as his bread n' butter sport, but he is excited about the collegiate level if the draft doesn't pan out this year. "Every person that can play athletics and go to school at the same time is lucky." He said. "It's fun to be able to bring together things you love to do and get a great education at the same time."
"I'm fortunate, so I am definitely going to think about that along with the major leagues, because both definitely effect my future."