"Hakim has a ton of potential and a great set of physical tools," said coach Perry. "First of all, he just turned 17 on December 10th so he is extremely young for his class. Last year around this time he was probably just under 6-foot and 160 pounds. Now he is 6'3, 190 pounds, and I think he is still growing because he just turned 17.
"His measurables are extremely good. He has been timed at 4.46 in the 40-yard dash and has a 41-inch vertical jump. Like I said, he has all the physical tools and when you watch his tape he jumps out at you."
Jones had a terrific senior season for Southern Vance as he starred at safety and wide receiver. Offensively he tallied 30 receptions for 457 yards and five touchdowns, and defensively he recorded 74 tackles (44 solos), 21 passes defended, and seven interceptions (two INT TD returns). He also returned punts for a 18.9 yard average with two more touchdowns.
"He's a playmaker," said coach Perry. "He did awfully well for us... he was excellent. We used him a lot more on defense, but he can truly play on either side of the ball."
Jones has the potential to impact in a variety of ways. Where does coach Perry believe he will play in college?
"To be honest, I would think safety," he stated. "I would suspect he plays on the defensive side of the ball, but because I think he is still growing he could potentially end up back there ta linebacker if he keeps getting bigger.
"He doesn't care where he plays though. He's out to get a good education and just play ball. He definitely has the right attitude and outlook."
Because Jones hit a late growth spurt and really emerged this season, he is still a virtual unknown. Marshall and Virginia Tech have recently checked in on him, but NC State appears to hold the upper hand and have been on him the longest due to a family tie.
Hakim's older brother, Ernest Jones, played linebacker for the Wolfpack from 2003-2007. Because of this, Hakim grew up closely following the Wolfpack and interested in the program. According to his head coach, who also coached Ernest at Southern Vance, that has allowed the NC State to closely monitor his development and physical maturity.
"NC State likes him a lot and they know all about him," said coach Perry. "He's been there because his brother was down there, and we send them video all the time.
"Hakim has been in-and-out of there before for camps or with Ernest... because Ernest played there they naturally knew about him."
Jones will be on NC State's campus this weekend for an official visit. With an offer on the table, he could be close to making a commitment.
"It wouldn't surprise me if he chose to commit to NC State over the weekend," coach Perry indicated. "I think he's certainly leaning in that direction, and we will know more for sure following that visit."
According to Perry, whichever program that lands Jones will be adding a young man with great character and ability.
"I only have one statement about all that," said Perry. "This is the type of the kid that if you're a father you want your daughter to marry him. He is a yes-sir, no-sir young man who is always on time and never late, and he is the first on the field and the last to leave. It has been great coaching him."
Jones carries a 3.4 GPA and has scored 1300 on his SAT and is fully qualified.