Jones Back in Play

Just when it seemed like the Dwight Jones saga had come to a conclusion, new developments have re-opened the possibility of the prep star enrolling at North Carolina for the 2008 season.

"They're still trying to get everything finalized with the paperwork, but Dwight has qualified [to play Division I football]," Burlington (N.C.) Cummings assistant coach and Jones confidant Jay Perdue told Inside Carolina on Monday evening. "They submitted the paperwork to the NCAA and the NCAA has already given them the preliminary go ahead. It's just a matter of rubber stamping the paperwork right now."

Jones signed with UNC out of Cummings High School in February 2007. After failing to qualify, the 6-foot-3, 215-pound wide receiver enrolled at Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy, where he focused on improving his SAT and ACT scores.

After leaving Hargrave in December, Jones continued to try to qualify by re-taking the ACT and attending community college classes. He was able to become a Division II qualifier, but he fell just short of qualifying to play Division I ball -- or did he?

The NCAA changed the required number of core classes from 14 to 16 between the 2007 and 2008 recruiting classes, respectfully.

Since he graduated high school in 2007, Jones' academics should have been evaluated with the 2007 rules – specifically his core grade point average consisting of 14 classes. However, his transcripts were incorrectly judged with the 2008 standards.

"He actually [became qualified] the last time he took the ACT," Perdue said. "He made that score in April when he took it at Cummings when he was already home."

Thus, in actuality, Jones didn't need the online classes he took in the spring.

The mistake was discovered when UNC looked closer at incoming freshman Zach Brown's transcripts. Brown and Jones attended Hargrave together and both graduated high school in 2007.

"[Brown's] stuff went through and they were looking at it and it all of a sudden sounded off an alarm," Perdue said. "Zach Brown was the same class as Dwight and he was eligible and was on 14 core [classes]. So that was when the process got rolling."

Jones is now enrolled at Valdosta State, a Division II school in Georgia, and has been practicing with the team.

"From what I understand, they have already talked to the ACC and the ACC has already cleared it," Perdue said of Jones' potential enrollment at UNC. "The NCAA is going to clear it – it's just getting all the paperwork done. I guess it's just going to be up to Dwight whether he wants to come to Carolina or stay where he's at."

Perdue says Valdosta State will grant Jones his release. It's just up to Jones to ask for it.

"I think [Jones] is confused right now," Perdue said. "One minute, he wasn't going to qualify so he had to get himself mentally prepared to go D-II. He took some visits and then he found a home that he really liked. He really liked Valdosta. He's been in practice and he's fired up about it. And then all the sudden, it comes back that he's actually eligible for Division I.

"So right now he's just going back and forth. I think he's considering both ends of it. He hasn't made a decision."

Perdue said he expects Jones to decide whether to stay at Valdosta or enroll at UNC within the next two days.

Dwight Jones Profile

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