No. 39 OG, three stars
Committed on Dec. 25, 2012; reaffirmed Jan. 7, 2014
Ohio State Bio: Marcelys Jones was the first in this class of 2014 to commit to Ohio State, doing so on Dec. 25, 2012 ... he is the 20th of Coach Ted Ginn's Cleveland Glenville Tarblooders to attend Ohio State on a football scholarship in the last 13 seasons, dating back to 2002 ... as a senior, Jones was the foundation along the offensive line in Glenville's 13-2 campaign that included a run to the state championship game ... he was named first-team Associated Press Division II all-state as a senior ... Jones is rated among the top 50 offensive tackles by both Scout and ESPN and he is listed as the No. 9 guard nationally by Rivals ... he is listed on the Rivals 250 (240) ... also rated the No. 17 guard on the 247Sports composite list ... Jones was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January ... is the cousin of current Buckeye Donovan Munger ... Grandmother is Rosietta Jones Harry.
Jones's Story: One of the latest members of the famed Glenville pipeline that sends top talent from Ted Ginn's program in Cleveland to Columbus, Jones first showed up on Scout's radar in July 2012, comparing himself to former Tarblooders star Aundrey Walker, who eventually committed to USC at the end of his recruiting process. But by the time the beginning of his junior season rolled around, Jones was starting to see himself as a potential Ohio State Buckeye just like many of his previous teammates.
"It will be great to visit Ohio State, and they are my favorite school," Jones said in September 2012. "I speak to Coach (Stan) Drayton every week and we have a great relationship. They tell me to keep working hard and to get my weight down a little bit."
It helped that by the end of September, his first offer came from Ohio State. He would eventually pick up an Indiana offer and also hear from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois, Cincinnati, Stanford, Maryland, Pittsburgh early in the recruiting process as well.
Jones was also in attendance when the Buckeyes took on Michigan to complete an undefeated season in 2012 and raved about the experience.
"Being at Ohio State yesterday was real good, and I really enjoyed myself," Jones stated. "Yesterday was different for me because I had former teammates playing for both teams. I loved watching both Frank Clark and Marcus Hall going at it, and it was a great game to see. The atmosphere was great and the fans were into it. Seeing my teammates playing college football gives me a lot of confidence that I can play at that level also. It takes a lot of stress off me, knowing that if I do all the right things, I can be a player at this level."
"It was great seeing Urban Meyer being so pumped up after the game," he added. "He's a very funny guy and we always joke around together. Coach Warinner told me to keep working hard and we speak pretty often. He told me to give him a call this week, so we can talk a lot more. I will be back down there this winter."
Clearly the game had an impact on Jones, because on Christmas morning, he gave Meyer a call and became the first member of OSU's class of 2014.
"It was definitely important to me to be the first," he said. "I am definitely going to be involved in recruiting other players to Ohio State, and I'm starting in my own school first. I'm already working on Marshon Lattimore to join me, and then we need to see if Ohio State will offer Erick Smith, and I think they will."
"There are very few juniors in Ohio that have Ohio State offers, so I know what an honor this is. This is a great Christmas for my family, and we want to thank Coach Meyer for giving me this opportunity. I'm going to make the most of it."
Of course, that was far from the end of the story for Jones, who received an offer from Alabama in February. He insisted he remained committed to Ohio State in multiple interviews, though the prospect of taking other visits always seemed to remain in Jones' mind.
That finally happened in July when Jones took part in a summer camp hosted by Alabama with a number of Glenville teammates, after which Jones spoke with Scout.
"I was really trying to help my younger teammates get better and see them get offers," Jones stated. "I also wanted to go against the top competition, to see where I was at as a player. We went to Alabama, Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Kentucky, but I only worked out at Alabama."
"Being at Alabama, it was great going against those kids and they were great players," he added. "I thought I matched up great and their coaches said they were impressed. They liked how I was able to move, and how quick I was off the football. They know I'm committed to Ohio State and they respected that, but they still tried to recruit me."
Jones continued to be publicly committed to OSU all along, and the Alabama interest waned. In the end, Jones still seemed unsure of whether he would end up at Ohio State as an early enrollee, as Kentucky and Alabama showed interest up until Jones competed with teammates Smith and Lattimore at the U.S. Army Bowl. And while Jones said he wasn't sure if in the end he would arrive at OSU for classes, Smith and Lattimore committed to OSU while in San Antonio and Jones is now one of the seven latest Buckeyes.
Early Impact: With Ohio State losing four two-year starters from the offensive line, it will be all hands on deck for the Buckeyes in 2014. Jones figures to be one of 11 scholarship offensive linemen in spring ball, and only two of those have extended playing time in guard Patrick Elflein and tackle Taylor Decker. In other words, you can expect a lot of combinations up front during the spring, and Jones very well could be in the two-deep under the direction of Ed Warinner. Offensive linemen take longer to develop, and Warinner has spoken about how he prefers to redshirt his true freshmen, but there's no doubt Jones should get plenty of on-the-job training during the spring.
Expert Take: "It was mostly an up-and-down season for Jones, as he did not build upon his junior year, and actually lost his starting spot on offense. He did play defensive tackle for the Tarblooders, and had good moments there. He has the feet and frame college recruiters are looking for, and that's where they look first. He is carrying way too much weight, so the hope is that a college strength and conditioning program can reshape his body.
"Although the effort is not always at 100%, Jones does have the ability to play at the next level if he does exactly what is asked of him. He does have talent, and if he gets to a reasonable weight and increases his effort to an acceptable level, he has a chance to be a pretty good player" – Bill Greene