HAVELOCK, N.C. --- North Carolina became the latest school to offer Avery Jones a couple of weekends back. That offer had the 6-foot-4, 256-pound Havelock offensive lineman thinking.
“He has really good fundamentals,” Havelock head coach Jim Bob Bryant said. “He has the size; he has probably put on about 20 pounds since the football season, already. He has big hands, he has wide hips, he’s a knee-bender (and not a waist-bender), and he’s really flexible. He works hard and he’s a great kid and a great student.”
After eight-quartering (playing junior varsity, but dressing for varsity games) as a freshman, Jones was not only promoted to varsity but he started the 2015 season at right tackle for a 12-1 program.
While attending North Carolina’s most recent junior day, Jones received his fourth scholarship offer. Even though it wasn’t his first, the offer was extremely impactful.
“That’s my No. 1 school,” Jones said. “It’s a school that I grew up watching and loving and stuff. It means a lot to get the offer.
“Once I got that offer, I was feeling like I wanted to [commit]. But I think I should wait until the end of my junior year or senior year to see how many offers I’m going to get.”
Duke, East Carolina, and NC State are the other schools that have offered Jones.
“My offensive line coach coached at [Shelby (N.C.)] Crest for 20 years and had several guys [at his position] play Division I football and some guys play in the NFL,” Bryant said. “And he said as a sophomore that Avery is better than all those guys were when they were sophomores. So I really think he will be a four- or five-star kid. I don’t really understand the rankings, but I know he’s a heck of a football player and he’s going to be a big-time college prospect.”
Jones’s UNC offer was extended during a meeting with Larry Fedora. Afterwards, Jones spent time with Chris Kapilovic, the Tar Heels’ offensive line coach.
“[Kapilovic] talked about the former O-linemen that were there and he talked about the school and how they run things,” Jones said.
Kapilovic didn’t discuss what exact position he projects Jones to play on the collegiate level.
“I think eventually he’s going to end up being a left tackle, because he’s long, he’s athletic (he plays basketball and he’s probably our best low post player), he’s physical, he’s tough,” Bryant said.
Gene Chizik recruits Havelock for UNC, but Bryant has also been in contact with Kapilovic since he prefers to be actively involved in the recruitment of offensive lineman.
“When I told them [Jones] was only a sophomore, they said, ‘We were hoping he was a junior so that he could come out next year,’” Bryant said.
Besides UNC, Jones has attended a junior day at NC State. He has also visited Duke and East Carolina for football games.
Bryant shared a story that epitomized Jones’s combination of toughness and shrewdness: “He got his tooth knocked out during a basketball game on the court. He scooped it up. With blood coming out of his mouth, ran off the court, and had the wherewithal to put the tooth in milk. He returned the next stoppage and had the tooth put back in the next day.”… Speaking of basketball, Jones is on a team with former UNC football pledge Kyran Bowman and Florida State signee Keion Joyner. Havelock will play Fayetteville (N.C.) Sanford in the Regional Finals on Tuesday. On the season, Jones is averaging three points, three rebounds, and a block a game.