Notre Dame has had a tremendous amount of success recruiting the state of Georgia. With the 2006 recruiting scene starting to take shape, the Irish are once again interested in a number of players from Georgia, and running back Roddy Jones is one of those players.
"Yeah I've been getting a lot of mail from Notre Dame," Jones replied when asked if the Irish were recruiting him. "They were one of the earliest to start sending me mail. I started getting mail from them in early October. I haven't spoken to the coaches, but that's one thing that I want to do. I sent a tape up there last week, so hopefully that will start the correspondence.
"I'm real interested in Notre Dame. It's a great academic school and it looks like Charlie Weis has the program back to the level of prestige where it was in it's heyday. It looks like they're going to keep going up, so it's definitely a school that I'm going to take a real hard look at from here on out.
"I obviously know about it's academics. The level of national exposure that you get is amazing. No school plays on national television every week. I know the history of coach Weis in the NFL and all the Super Bowls that he's won. I know about the great players that have come out of Notre Dame, the Heisman trophy winners that they've had. It's been a while but they still have that same level of prestige."
Jones knows about Notre Dame's head coach and former Irish players, but he's also familiar with several players that will wear the gold helmet next season.
"Before I got into high school Darius Walker was one of the running backs that I used to watch and try to be like him," Jones said of the Irish running. "Darius was a great running back at Buford (Ga.), so he's one of the guys I really started watching right before I got into high school.
"In the play-offs I got to play against Toryan Smith who signed with them this year. I talked to him a little after the game and he said that he really fell in love with it when he went up there. He said he was going to talk to the coaches about me because we gave them a pretty good game although they came out on top.
While Jones appears to have strong interest in the Irish, even with a scholarship offer, they'd have a battle on their hands.
"I have offers from Georgia Tech and Maryland right now so those are the schools I'm looking at real hard now," Jones said. "The others schools I'm interested in are Georgia, LSU Florida, Tennessee, Clemson – most of the SEC and ACC schools in the Southeast. I'll give any of those schools a good hard look.
"I was at Auburn this past weekend. I've been to Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Georgia and Tennessee. I want to make sure I see everything.
"I don't know when I'm going to make my decision to tell you the truth. I'm going to wait to see what happens," Jones explained. "Everyone says take your visits, but if I feel like I really have seen everything that I need to see and I'm ready to make a decision, I'm not going to be afraid to do that. I will probably end up taking a couple of my visits."
Although nearly all the schools Jones is considering are located in the Southeast, the Irish offer enough to warrant serious consideration.
"I think they're really high just because of what it offers with the academics and the prestige of the school," Roddy said of his interest in Notre Dame. "All the other schools are in the Southeast and I would like to stay close, but if I feel Notre Dame would be the right fit, I wouldn't be afraid to go to Indiana and play there. Location is a little bit of a factor, but it's not going to be the deciding factor. Location is a minor detail."
When Jones does make a decision the football program will get an athlete that can do a variety of things with the ball in his hands.
"I think I bring leadership," Jones responded when asked what he brings to the field as a player. "Despite being 5-9, 180 pounds, I feel I run hard. I get a lot of yards after contact. I can make guys miss and break long runs. I'd say that I'm more of a slasher. I can run between the tackles and outside just as well. I think I pretty much have the whole package.
"I think in college I'll get to 195-200 pounds, that would be getting in the weight room and getting real solid."
As a junior, Jones rushed for 1,654 yards, 24 touchdowns in 11 games.