Micah Jones planned all along to use the summer as a springboard into his junior season.
Heading to a series of camps in June helped. Making a stop at Notre Dame for Irish Invasion netted the wide receiver from Gurnee, Ill., two things — a new scholarship offer and an understanding of where he stacks up against national talent.
As Jones readies for the coming campaign at Warren Township High School, he feels that experience will serve him well.
“I know at Notre Dame I did really well,” Jones said. “That really kicked off my streak of confidence. I had confidence before just being a wide receiver but it really kicked off (more) confidence. It showed I could compete against the best guys and do really well. I came back to my town and my area and I should be able to beat those kids.”
Jones plans to continue engaging his recruitment during the season as well.
Notre Dame is the most recent offer to Jones and the Irish make up part of his top five. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern are the others in that top group. Iowa State, Vanderbilt, Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Syracuse have also offered.
Since landing an Irish offer, Jones has noticed an uptick in Notre Dame’s pursuit. He’s planning to come back to campus for a game this season.
“They have been recruiting me a lot harder since that time period,” Jones said. “I know they wanna get me down for not just games but for position meetings and film and stuff like that. Smaller things, get me down for that type of stuff. It was a big offer for me, like I said. We’ll see what happens down the road here.”
As the visit schedule starts to take shape, Jones has multiple trips in mind.
He plans to visit Iowa for its game against Iowa State and perhaps Illinois for its season opener. The other members of his top five will receive visits as well. Jones is targeting night games at Michigan State and Notre Dame. The Irish host the Spartans in primetime on Sept. 17.
Jones has visited each of the programs in his top five for a game once already. Re-assessing each environment is the plan this fall.
“That's definitely what I wanna see,” Jones said. “I want to see the atmosphere around the game and the atmosphere with the coaches on a game day. I’ll see how that goes. Just seeing all those teams play, that’s one of my goals this season.”
Jones has also adjusted his timeframe for making a commitment. It could take place in the spring now rather than any time at the end of this summer or fall.
“I really looked at that,” Jones said. “I pushed my date back from the end of this summer to next spring. Another thing I might wanna look at is pushing that back from the springtime. It’s not set yet but I think I’m gonna commit sometime around the spring. We’ll see what happens.”