There's no reason for Avery Jones (6-4, 250 pounds) to rush out to a lot of colleges right away. He has plenty of time for that. Jones (6-4, 250) does want to start seeing what schools have to offer even as only a sophomore. The schools already recruiting him are encouraging him to begin with visits and recruiting right away.
Jones is part of a growing number of high school sophomores with scholarship offers from the schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Many of the league's football coaching staffs have sent an assistant or even two through Havelock High School to let their interest in Jones be known.
It's impossible to visit Havelock and talk to the coaches without hearing about Jones. There are older players they would like to help place or promote but their young sophomore lineman is one of the better players to come through the school in a long time. At least he can be.
Jones believes he will be an offensive lineman in college. Give him a year or so and it is possible that his weight will be very different than it is today. The defensive line isn't out of the question but protecting the quarterback and serving as a road grader is the future most expect is in store.
The future is a big topic for Jones. He might be living the present which is two more years of football and school before college but the future is what ACC coaches and many others are most interested in.
The word has gotten out that Jones can play at least when it comes to the schools closer to Havelock. It would be surprising to people at the school if more schools in and outside the state do not become more of a presence soon. The good news for at least two state schools is that Jones has early leanings that could lead someone to believe he's likely to stay near home after he gets his high school diploma. "I like UNC and NC State a lot," said Jones.
Jones likes the Tar Heels even though he does not have an offer. Offer or not Jones said a coach from North Carolina has stopped by his school. That is reason enough for a young sophomore to believe an offer could come later.
NC State, Duke and East Carolina have offered and the safe bet is they will remind Jones of their early willingness to offer as the local recruiting war of words and tactics presses on. Things have been friendly for now with NC State impressing Jones early due to the two visits he has already taken to the school. He went to NC State's game against the Tar Heels where he was able to sit as a neutral observer in a game between his two top choices.
Then in more recent times he visited NC State for the recruiting day that was planned for a group of younger football players that the coaches put together.
"It was pretty fun and a good day overall. We got to see the coaches and the weight room training staff and all that so I liked that. Another thing they did for us was show us the weight training room ... and they showed us the indoor practice facility. I talked to the O-Line coach and I was talking to the head coach a little bit."
The two "visits" were not the only times he was on campus. He was also one of the campers the staff saw in the summer before any of that. The offer from the Pack came after the football season. That means he was offered right around the time of that game between the in state schools that he was present for. Even though Jones has been to State twice he is still meeting and getting to know the coaches.
The sports fans in North Carolina who know anything about high school sports in that area or who follow recruiting know Havelock best for Keion Joyner at least recently. He had a rocky football career with a promising future at Florida State still ahead. Jones seems more interested in some of the local schools than his older teammate did. Both players are on Havelock's basketball team that won another conference championship this week.
With Florida State recruiting Joyner for so long they came across Jones as well. In October Michael Clark wrote about the Seminoles keeping Jones in mind but they have still not offered. At the time Jones said the Pack was recruiting him harder than anyone else.