Jones Jr. previews Irish visit

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy running back Tony Jones Jr. previews this weekend’s junior day visit to Notre Dame. Is the four-star all-purpose back on “commit watch” for the Irish?

One of the most intriguing visitors Notre Dame will host this weekend for Junior Day is four-star running back Tony Jones Jr. of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy.

Jones will fly to Notre Dame on Friday afternoon with his parents and will stay on until Sunday afternoon.

“I’m probably most looking forward to seeing the facilities and meeting the coaches and the players,” Jones said. “I know that Notre Dame is one of the best schools in the country for education, and it’s a 40-year decision.”

Florida’s No. 1 ranked running back in the junior class spoke last spoke with Notre Dame running backs coach Autry Denson on Sunday.

“Coach Denson told me that I’m going to love it there,” Jones said. “He said that I’m one of Notre Dame’s top running back prospects and this weekend is all about me. He said he wants me there for the next four years.”

Jones plans to discuss with Denson the depth of Notre Dame’s running back corps.

“I want to find out how many running backs are on the roster and what class they are in,” Jones said. “I want to see where I would be if I were go there.”

Jones’ father, Tony Jones Sr., told Irish Illustrated last week the plan was for his son to announce his commitment this spring. General consensus was that Jones was on “commit watch” this weekend heading into his Notre Dame visit, but that no longer appears to be the case.

“I won’t decide this spring,” Jones said. “It will probably be in the summer. My mom won’t let me commit this early because this will only be second junior day visit, and she doesn’t want me to rush it. I have to sit and talk with my parents about everything first.”  

For the 6-foot-1, 215-pound back, his level of comfort away from home will largely play a role in his decision.

“I want a place that feels like home, and I want early playing time,” Jones said. “I want a good relationship with the players and coaches, too.”

Jones wouldn’t reveal any favorites but plans to release a top five after spring.

Jones plans to visit Miami (March 24) and Kentucky (April 11). He has taken previous trips this spring to South Florida and Florida.

Jones is a four-star prospect and is ranked as the No. 12 running back in the class of 2016. Top Stories