Jones Is Looking To Visit ND

Datone Jones from Compton High School (Calif.) is one of the top defensive ends on the West Coast. He made a pledge to UCLA several months ago, but since that time, he has decided to look at all of his options. Notre Dame is one of those options and he might take a trip to South Bend.

There have been so many college coaches that have stopped in to see Datone Jones (6-foot4, 235 pounds) during May that he's lost count. Despite his commitment to UCLA, Jones is trying to stay in touch with as many coaches as he can.

"I talked to Charlie Weis about two weeks ago," Jones said when asked about his contact with Notre Dame. "I try to stay in touch with all the coaches, but I end up using my minutes real fast. I try to call everyone when I can, but it's hard for me because we just started spring football.

"I really don't know which schools stopped in, but I know that there were a lot. [Recruiting] doesn't bother me, because I know I just need to maintain what I'm doing. It has slowed down though, since it's the end of May."

Jones committed to UCLA in March, but he'd like to take his trips to make sure it is the right school for him.

"I am still listening to schools, and I want to take five of my trips," Jones said. "I know four of them. I want to go to UCLA, Notre Dame, Oregon and Nebraska. Those are the ones I know of right now.

"I saw Oregon on TV one Saturday and I just loved it. They came out all fired up, so I liked that.

"Coach Callahan from Nebraska came by my school to check me out," Jones explained. "I've heard Nebraska has sold out every game for a while, so I want to check out how intense that is.

"My sophomore year I saw Notre Dame play USC. That was the first year I played football, and I was a USC fan, but Notre Dame really impressed me. They played hard and ever since, I said that I had to go see [Notre Dame]. I haven't figured out when I'll take my trip, but I'm going to try and get out to one of their games."

Despite the interest in looking at other schools, it will be difficult for Jones to turn down the Bruins.

"I was up at UCLA every day. I never missed a practice, so I got real close to the players and the coaches. I felt like home and it just made me want to play there. Both of UCLA's defensive ends are leaving when I get there, so it's a great opportunity for me to come in and play.

"I talk to coach Walker every day. I also talk to the defensive line coach, Todd Walker. I have a strong connection with them. I've never had a father there for me and they're great role models for me. I just feel that connection."

Last season Jones registered 60 tackles and four sacks.


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