Just as Patrick Jones started to see his name circulate in headlines and on the internet he took some time out of his busier than usual schedule to see NC State for the first time.
It was a trip he had been planning for a while and Jones followed through. He was at NC State’s last Junior Day and he was far from the only Virginian there. There was a big crowd of players from Jones’ home state and that made the atmosphere feel a little more like home. There were sophomores and juniors with Jones falling into the latter camp.
Some of the players there had not been offered. They were probably hoping that would change. Jones did not have such concerns. He had an offer from the Wolfpack.
“They showed us the campus a little bit. They really spent a lot of time taking us around the facilities. I thought it was all nice. It was all good. I think they want me for defensive end. I play both (LB and DE) but mainly defensive end. We talked about their defense and what they have going on up there. They talked a little about how they see me fitting in. It was a good trip.”
Jones (6-5, 230) could be a scary player as early as this fall. He was still coming into his body and learning basic technique last year but managed to sack the quarterback six times. He made seven more stops behind the line of scrimmage and finished with a healthy total of 60 tackles. Now bigger and just as fast as before, he will line up at different positions this year so it will be tough to plan to stop him. The Chesapeake (VA) Grassfield coaches know how to use him and will let him loose with his one year that is left.
Those numbers were good enough to get Jones on the All-Monitor-Merrimac Conference list. He could contend for Player of the Year honors this time around.
He did not want to compare NC State to Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Duke. Those are the other schools he has been to. That does not mean he lacks an opinion. Jones admitted he does not want to get himself into any trouble with colleges by listing a favorite as he does not want to give the impression that he is ruling any schools out.
He has said other times that Virginia is a school he likes and he has visited the school in the past. He has also said he likes Virginia Tech. Both of those schools send coaches through the high schools in the area every year in the spring and the winter. This year was no exception. Those schools have offered. So has ODU. Virginia Tech is still in the middle of evaluating Jones.
Barlow will be back through Chesapeake too and since Jones is still talking to him after Junior Day that can be taken as a sign that they are still one of the schools on his mind.