Notre Dame’s Junior Day weekend continued to produce results for the Fighting Irish Friday with the verbal commitment of three-star wide receiver prospect Micah Jones from Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Ill.
Jones is verbal commitment No. 10 in the Class of 2018, joining cornerback Kalon Gervin, safety Derrik Allen and offensive tackle Cole Mabry among those jumping on board this week.
Listed at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, Jones participated in last summer’s Irish Invasion to put himself on Notre Dame’s radar. Ultimately, Jones chose Notre Dame over Michigan State, Northwestern, Iowa and Illinois. Others extending scholarship offers include Mississippi, Mississippi State and Nebraska.
Listed as a four-star prospect in some circles, due largely to his length, the three-star rating appears more accurate at this time until he can show more downfield route-running ability. That’s reflected by the interest from schools such as Clemson, Miami, Texas A&M and Wisconsin, who have yet to make an offer.
Jones is a relatively raw wide receiver with some tight end-ish characteristics, including plenty of slot work in Warren Township’s four- and five-wideout spread offense.
The majority of Jones’ work within the Warren Township offense has been of the short passing game variety. The Blue Devils smartly employ Jones as a guy who they target to get the football in his hands as quickly as possible, and then let Jones use his length and athleticism for yards after the catch.
That’s generally a sign of a player who will need route-running work on the next level, although he’s a candidate for more downfield looks during his senior season at Warren Township.
The characteristic that stands out most in Jones’ game right now is his ability to swallow the football with his hands. He watches the football in well and has displayed the ability to make reaching grabs, which is a weapon on quick-hitters from the slot.
Jones looks like a strong red-zone option with the ability to high-point passes.
There are a several tight end-like aspects to his game, beginning with his length. His get-off is solid but could use more burst. The majority of his catches come after he settles into an area, boxes it off from a defender, and then uses those big, soft mitts to haul in the pass.
Stop routes, quick hitters and turn-out routes have been the preferred method of getting the football into his hands up to this point in his prep career.
Proven to be a willing blocker from his wideout position, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Jones ends up as a slot tight end who could align attached long-term. He is an aggressive blocker with the frame to engulf defenders. But for now, he appears to be a W receiver prospect for the Irish with much to learn down the road, but some tools with which to work.