D.J. Jones now more excited than ever

You can't say how many times he's seen the campus at the University of Nebraska. We'll call it a lot. That didn't make future Husker D.J. Jones'official visit to Nebraska any less exciting. In fact, from everything he already knew to everything he knows now, he said it was an "11" out of 10. Oh, and he is excited, because over this weekend, a few other players added themselves to the list of "future Husker".

Between the unofficial visits and the time he's been to games over the year, along with just dropping by, Husker commit D.J. Jones has probably seen it all. He's been in the locker room, roamed the sidelines before a game and talked to every coach on the staff.

This official visit should have been anti-climactic, but it was anything but, and for a few reasons.

"I got to see how they make the tunnelwalk," Jones said of the process in creating the video intro for the Husker team on game days. "I saw how they put all that stuff together and how it all works. I also got to visit with some advisors and I got to see how the academic support system works, what kind of tutoring programs they have, and everything that would help me while I am there."

You can include another jaunt through the on-going construction of the new facilities, plus the visit to the training table, that draws raves from those that see it and experience it day-to-day. And he got to meet his fellow official visitors, two of them being "bigguns" like himself.

Real big, in fact.

"Victory (Haines), he's like 6-7 or 6-8, but he's probably about 285," D.J. said. "So, he knows he's going to be putting on some weight. And Carl (Nicks), I think he's probably not quite as tall as I am, but he's bigger – maybe 330 or 315 pounds."

As a fellow lineman you can imagine that these guys clicked. D.J. could see himself playing along side both Haines and Nicks in the future. Well, Jones sees that, because according to him, that's exactly what's going to happen.

"Yeah, Victory and Nicks both committed," D.J. said. "So, I am really excited, because we have a pretty good class right now. There's going to be a lot of help and a lot of competition on the line."

Haines comes by way of Snow Junior College in Utah – a big kid, but not near as big as he will be. A solid frame, good feet and those long arms you want in tackles, Victory looks to be a replacement for the tackles being lost, but hopefully someone that can come in and contribute right away.

Nicks is like Haines, from the junior college ranks, Carl coming from Hartnell in Salinas, California. He's got the size to play right away, plus the feet and hands you need to play either inside or outside.

When Jones looks at them and himself, he sees the future and he likes it.

"We are going to have bodies out there and big bodies," Jones said. "We are going to be young, even with the guys already here, so it's going to just be about learning as fast as we can. That's the key. You have to learn how to use your feet, your hands and everything to be successful at that level."

Jones has been thinking about that since he committed to the Huskers. He's looked at film, seen the games and studies just what it is that separates these linemen from his level and the one he's headed. Technique is obviously key, according to Jones, but he said that as much technique as you have, along with the strength, you better have something else in abundance.

"You have to have attitude," he said "This game, as physical as it is, it's mostly mental. You have to put your guy on his butt, because it let's your running back or quarterback know they are going to be able to play their game, but it also lets the guy across from you know that he's going to have problems playing his."

"You have to have the attitude. On the line, that's a really big thing."

Jones has the attitude when he's on the field and he's not exactly thinking about waiting on when he gets to apply that at the next level. A lot of players, especially linemen, would opt for the redshirt year, to get bigger, faster, stronger and more familiar with the game.

Not Jones. That's not his attitude and seeing all these young linemen both already at the program and now, coming in, he's ready to play. "I'm all about competing," D.J. said. "I am going to come in, work my hardest and try to get on the field. If coach (Dennis) Wagner still thinks I'm not ready and need to redshirt, I will, but I plan on being out there my first year."

You see the offensive line of Nebraska this year and no offense, but it's obvious they need help. From run blocking to pass blocking, this group has been in transition from the day the new staff arrived. Jones and now Nicks and Haines, along with Cruz Barrett and Ricky Henry, are part of that continuing transition, more and more players being injected to turn this thing around.

That's where Jones' head is at right now. He's got his eyes on the future and it's about this new and completely different Nebraska. "I wanted to be part of this turnaround, I wanted to be part of the team that makes it back," he said. "It's going to be exciting and I know I am going to learn something every day."

"There's going to be some bumps, but you don't start at the top to get to the top. You have to work your way up. That's what we are going to do."

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