Better to Be Open

A month after visiting Notre Dame defensive back Chris Jones from Minor High School (Adamsville, Ala.) still has a positive image of Notre Dame, but ultimately he'd like to play his football in the SEC.

The Notre Dame staff has done a solid job of recruiting Chris Jones (5-foot-10, 175-pounds) and they did make a favorable impression on him when he visited campus in late June, but one thing that may not be able to overcome is distance.

"It's a great school," Jones said of Notre Dame. "I did get a good impression. I loved the campus. They guys were different because most of them come from up North, but it was a great experience.

"It is pretty far. I kind of want to go somewhere my family could come watch me without it being far away. The distance is kind of holding me back from Notre Dame. I kind of want to play in the SEC. To me, that is the best conference in college football. All that coming together, is what is giving me side thoughts about it (Notre Dame).

Jones hasn't eliminated the Irish from consideration, but when you look at the other schools in his top-five, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee, it isn't difficult to ascertain that Notre Dame is fighting an uphill battle.

Early on, Auburn had held a decided advantage over all competitors, but Jones recently decided to clear the way for other schools to recruit him.

"What I think I did, is that I closed my recruiting process up too early (by naming Auburn as his leader)," Jones explained. "I didn't give everyone a 100 percent chance to recruit me, so that I could have all of my options and make sure that is exactly what I want to do without any regrets.

"By opening up my recruiting, I don't want to have any doubts about anything happening. I can take a little time, and go to a couple games and watch the defensive backs and see how I fit in the defense. Focusing on Auburn kind of closed everyone else out and I think I made the right decision to open things up again."

Auburn is certainly still in the mix and will receive one of Jones' official visits. Alabama, Florida and Tennessee are also in line toi receive official visits from Jones.

"I am very interested in Alabama right now," Jones admitted. "But I'm not leaning any way right now. Everyone is the same, but I am highly interested in Alabama.

"I went down there Tuesday of last week. It went well, it went real well. I sat down and talked with coach Saban They had camp and I just sat down and watched that.

"Tennessee and Florida most definitely I'm going to give those two a shot," he said. "I've been to Florida. I went in the spring when they had spring practice. I love the campus. The campus is great and I really liked going to Gainesville.

"I have been to Tennessee and they have a great campus. They have a whole new coaching staff. That kind of scared me, but it is a good thing, because they're looking for defensive backs. It's looking good. I want to see where I fit down there, which is why I want to take a look there."

And the fifth official visit?

"I'm thinking about taking one back to Notre Dame," Jones said."I really don't know right now. That's the fifth one right now, but I really don't know right now." Top Stories