Jones: "It Feels Good To Be Signed"

If the NC State coaches were stressing over one recruit on signing day it might have been Lithonia (GA) M.L. King safety Jarnor Jones, who took a recruiting visit to Kentucky the weekend prior to inking his letter of intent.

If the NC State coaches were stressing over one recruit on signing day it might have been Lithonia (GA) M.L. King safety Jarnor Jones, who took a recruiting visit to Kentucky the weekend prior to inking his letter of intent.

Jones admitted that the Wildcats made a late push in his recruitment, but he chose to remain loyal to the Wolfpack.

"Really, it came down to me," said Jones. "I wanted to stay in touch with myself and go where I wanted to go. Kentucky started recruiting me late but at the end of the day I'm happy with my decision.

"Coach Reed was happy when I talked with him on signing day. He told me he felt like he had lost me, but that didn't happen. I also got to talk with coach O'Brien... he was happy too."

Jones said he actually finalized his decision before signing day but at the request of his head coach he kept it quiet. He didn't answer calls from recruiting analysts or coaches, and he also stopped listening to others who wanted to give their advice on what he should do.

"I hid the decision and kept it suspenseful because the head coach wanted to bring some publicity to my high school," said Jones. "It ended up being a great thing. I don't think anyone really knew what I was going to do.

"I was hearing comments from both sides on what I should do. There were people telling me to go to the SEC because it's the best league, but there were others saying don't leave NC State because they have the best defensive backs. Honestly, I just felt the most comfortable at NC State, especially with Kenderius going up there with me. It's going to feel like home."

Kenderius Whitehead, a three-star defensive end signee who played with Jones at M.L. King, also signed with NC State. Securing a commitment from Jones helped NC State's chances with Whitehead, but it also ended up impacting the final decision of Jones as well.

Jarnor Jones and
Kenderius Whitehead

"When I committed I don't think Kenderius was even seriously considering NC State," said Jones. "But he went up on his official visit with me and loved it. I knew when he committed he was going to go there because he really liked it at NC State.

"He is a great football player, and he had a lot of options. I know he turned down a lot of premier football universities, but he felt comfortable with his decision. I didn't even tell him how serious I was about Kentucky, I don't even think he knew."

As a senior, Jones totaled 49 tackles, 33 of them solo, an interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds he has outstanding size for a defensive back, but what makes him a coveted recruit is his athleticism. A standout on the hardwood, Jones hopes to play basketball as well for the Wolfpack.

"With NC State I have a chance of playing basketball which I've been playing all my life and that played a factor," he said. "With my upside, I'm versatile in both sports, and I can use it to my advantage. The college football coaches all talked about how rangy and big I am for a safety... they said they liked that.

"It feels good to be signed. I know I've been low-key and not talking to anyone, but I feel great about my decision. I wish the best to Kentucky, but now I'm ready to get on with my senior year."

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Jarnor Jones (Hudl.com)


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