Along with a dozen of his Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek teammates, Ryan Jones attended North Carolina’s rout of Wake Forest this past weekend. Before the group headed back to Charlotte on Sunday morning, the 2017 athlete received a UNC scholarship offer.
The offer was extended to Jones, a 6-foot-1, 199-pounder, during a meeting with Larry Fedora.
“He was just telling me that they like me on both sides of the ball,” Jones said. “He said either way they just really want me there. And they’ll decide what I’ll play when I get there.
“It was good [to get the offer], because it’s an in-state school.”
Jones’s list of scholarship offers, which has reached 11, also includes NC State, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. Like UNC, each of those schools are recruiting Jones as an athlete.
For an example of why no school has zeroed in on one particular position with Jones, look no further than his high school football season. During a typical game, Jones, who transferred to the reigning NCHSAA 4A champions after spending his first two seasons at Charlotte (N.C.) Ardrey Kell, primarily plays wide receiver, where he has accumulated over 300 yards and five touchdowns receiving. But against Charlotte (N.C.) Vance on Friday night, he exclusively lined up at cornerback across from Myles Dorn. Jones ended the night with two interceptions.
“We knew we had to do our best to limit [Dorn],” Jones said.
The tardiness of UNC’s offer has the coaching staff playing a little catch up with Jones. Though all schools remain on the table, he is high on NC State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.
“They’re close to home, they have good programs [and] good coaches, and I feel pretty confident in my ability – if I were to go to either of those schools – to have an impact as a freshman,” Jones said.
Jones has previously visited UNC for a camp, but Saturday night marked his first game in Kenan Stadium.
“It was pretty exciting even though most of the students were on fall break,” Jones said. “There still were a lot of people there.”
Since his projected position is yet-to-be-determined, Jones spent the night fixated on both sides of the ball.
“I think I could be a big impact on both sides of the ball,” Jones said. “By the time I get there, a lot of their receivers will be graduated. And on defense, some of their guys are leaving. I feel like if I do go there, I could be a big impact.”
After the game, Jones and his teammates hung out with a group of Tar Heel players led by freshman William Sweet.
“It was fun,” Jones said. “We all got along and had a good time.”
Outside of UNC, Jones has visited Clemson, NC State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.
This weekend, Jones will travel to Alabama for its SEC bout with Tennessee. The following Saturday, he’ll be in Tallahassee to watch Florida State host Syracuse. He then hopes to catch one of Georgia Tech’s last couple of games.