Jones committed to NC State in December while in Raleigh for an official visit, but two weekends ago he officially visited Florida State. With ex-NC State head coach Chuck Amato heavily pursuing him, Jones listed to FSU's pitch. As Signing Day drew near, did Jones really consider the Seminoles?
"To be honest, that visit was probably the last time I talked to Florida State," Jones informed Pack Pride after signing his NC State LOI. "After my visit I told them that I wanted to go to State, and coach Amato was cool with it. Chuck just wanted me to see the place in case I wanted to change my mind.
"It was nice down there and everything, but I knew NC State was the place for me. I let Chuck and those guys know that I was going to sign with State, and that was really the end of all that."
Jones and nearly twenty of his Hargrave teammates inked with various colleges yesterday, as the prep school is annually loaded with big-time talent. The atmosphere around the tough military academy was fairly relaxed after the media left and the LOIs were faxed in.
"Signing Day went really good around here," said Jones. "We all signed our papers and they had some media here. We took some photos... nothing special. They had a TV guy here doing interviews, but I didn't get to talk to him. [Laughing] I was ready to get over to the cafeteria to get some food."
Did any of his teammates shock Jones with their final decisions?
"Not really," he said. "Mackey signed with Virginia Tech, and Coples ended up signing with [North] Carolina. I don't think there were many big changes or anything like that."
Circumstances back home prevented the four-star prospect's family from attending the event, so his letter of intent took a little longer to arrive at NC State than most of the others.
"My dad is pumped about me going to State, but he wasn't able to be up here," said Jones. "He couldn't make it up, so after I signed my papers I faxed them to him so he could sign them. After he signed them he had to fax them over to State."
Jones is now looking to continue improving on his academic situation before heading down to Raleigh this summer.
"I'm just finishing out school," said Jones. "My goal is to get down there in the summer. I have the ACT and SAT coming up, and I'll be taking those.
"In talking with coach Horton, he keeps saying I'll play guard or tackle. Either is fine for me. Coming to Hargrave has helped me with my work ethic... all you have to do here is go to class, work out, study, and practice, so I think I'm ready for college. I think if I go down and work hard... I'm hoping to earn some playing time. That's what I'm trying to do."
High School Scouting Report: "He shows good flexibility and his long arms make him a perfect match for a future at offensive tackle. However, at this early stage of his career, Jones is probably much more polished and appears more comfortable at defensive tackle. He will need work hammering down his technique at offensive tackle, but he has all the tools to become a force at that position down the road." -- Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
High School Film: OT #68 Sam Jones -
Post-Grad Film: OT #68 Sam Jones -
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