OL, Mike Jones - Oak Lawn, Illinois (H.L.Richards) - 6-5, 305, 5.1/40 - The only player in his school's history to grade out 100% in a game. Also, Mike's the only sophomore to start for his team on varsity. To say he's a school legend, obvious. To say that he's one of the most sought after recruits in the country, plain as day.
With offers on the table from schools like Michigan, Tennessee, Colorado, Miami(verbal), Nebraska, and Notre Dame(verbal), Mike has his choice of what powerhouse to attend next year. Mike also has offers from Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Maryland.
As for the unofficial visits, Mike has visited Notre Dame, Illinois, Michigan and will be taking an unofficial to Tennessee in August. As to Mike's officials, "No thought on that right now".
With such a wide range of major schools showing immense interest, narrowing his list is obviously going to be quite difficult. For Jones, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Miami is about as narrow as his list is at this time, but he did say that Michigan and Tennessee were "slight" favorites. "But, things change all the time though, so that's only right now", Jones reiterated.
As a fan of any one of these teams, you might wonder what Jones finds important about schools at the next level so that you can at least determine in your own mind how much of a chance your school has. I asked Mike about a few of the bigger criteria for his schools of choice.
"One thing I am definitely looking forward to is tradition", Jones stated. "Do they have a shot at a national championship? I am looking a lot into where they are there." Mike also said that the coach he will have the most contact with over the next three to four years is vital to his decision as well. "I want to know if I get along with their line coach. Will I get along with him? That's important to me." For Jones, he said that "fitting in" was another factor. Mike said that fan support means something as he recalled the consistently filled stadiums at schools such as Michigan and Tennessee, but "It won't be a factor much into my decision."
Looking for a successful season in his last year of high school, Mike isn't in a hurry to make any decisions. With no official visits on the slate, it will be high school that will be demanding most of his attention. As for the ultimate decision, Mike stated, "I will make my decision in January". So, get out your calendar and mark it down. This is a decision many will be waiting for very eagerly.