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Irish beat Wolverines for Jones

Notre Dame picked up its first National Signing Day splash with a signature from Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge three-star linebacker Jonathan Jones.

The Irish inked one of their top prospects on National Signing Day when three-star linebacker Jonathan Jones announced for Notre Dame over Michigan during a mid-morning ceremony at his school.

Jones also held offers from Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and West Virginia.

Michigan offered Jones on National Signing Day last year and the Wolverines vaulted to the top of his list. But Jones named Duke a co-leader last March. Then Notre Dame and Stanford offered in June, and Jones had a top five, which also included Central Florida.

The Orlando (Fla.) Oak Ridge product first visited Notre Dame on an official visit in September when Notre Dame hosted Massachusetts. Jones thought about pulling the trigger on a commitment while on campus despite entering the visit with Michigan as his longtime favorite.

“This was a good one,” Jones said after his first look at Notre Dame. “It was a great official visit. I was definitely happy with everything. Notre Dame surpassed all expectations.”

Jones took his official visit to Michigan in December, but exiting the visit in Ann Arbor, the Irish quietly stood firm as the team to beat.

Jones’ father, Charles Jones, a Cleveland, Ohio native and retired war veteran, was open throughout the process about favoring Notre Dame because of its top-ranked business program.

Notre Dame projects the 6-foot-1, 215-pound prospect as a weak side or middle linebacker.

Jones impressed Irish Illustrated in-person last summer at The Opening. He reacts and closes quickly, shows good mobility and is at his best when playing down hill.

Jones ran a 4.68 40-yard dash at the Opening – the fifth-fastest time for a linebacker at the event. He also ran a 4.67 shuttle and posted a vertical jump of 35.5-inches.

Jones was a second-team all-state selection in Florida’s 7A division as a junior and received the same award as a senior in Florida’s 8A (largest) division.

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