Elite DE Plans UNC Visit

Jarontay Jones plans on visiting North Carolina this summer.

"I don't have anything set up, yet," Jones said. "But it will be sometime soon."

Jones, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound defensive end from Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson, is also working on scheduling trips to Clemson, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech, and could include all four aforementioned schools in one swing. He has already visited Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and Georgia Tech.

Jones' attraction to UNC starts with its tradition -- specifically its tradition of sending its players to the next level, especially recently under Butch Davis.

"I like the tradition there and it's a great school, too," Jones said. "The tradition there is great. Year in and year out they put a lot of people in the [National Football] League."

Furthermore, Jones' teammates Raphael Kirby and Darreon Herring visited UNC in mid-April and raved about their trip – even though both have since verbally committed elsewhere.

"They said it was a great school," Jones said. "They said the facilities and everything about the school is great."

After concluding his summer visits, Jones plans to narrow his focus to five schools. If he doesn't graduate early, he'll likely wait until the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which he's been selected to play in, to announce his collegiate destination.

"When I go on these visits, I want to take my family," Jones said. "How my mother and the rest of my family like the school will play an important factor [in my decision].

"Also, I want to go somewhere where I can compete early. And definitely tradition [is important]."

Jones was born in Flint, Mich. but moved to Georgia when he was in kindergarten.

"The location [of the school] really doesn't matter to me," Jones said. "If I go back to Michigan, it's like I'm going back home. I think I'll be happy wherever I go."

Early in his recruitment, Auburn and Florida were Jones' co-leaders. But he has since backed away from those feelings.

"After I got so much love from everybody, I wanted to take my time and just feel everybody out," Jones said.

"Both [Auburn and Florida] are similar schools," Jones said. "Both of them are great schools and both are in the SEC. I just loved both of those schools – every time I went to both of those schools it was a good environment." Approximately 30 schools have offered Jones a scholarship, including Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, UNC, and Virginia Tech. Most of the schools, including UNC, are recruiting him as a defensive end, the position where he recorded 90 tackles, including 24 for a loss and 16 sacks, last season for Stephenson.

"I think I'm very versatile," Jones said. "I could play both [defensive end and linebacker]."

Since earlier in the spring, Jones has had weekly conversations with UNC assistant coach Troy Douglas. He has also spoken to Joe Robinson, UNC's defensive line coach.

"They talk about the school and how it's going to be when I come down there [for a visit]," Jones said.

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