The pace of the recruiting season is going just fine for Brad Jones of Canton McKinley High School. He already has scholarship offers from Akron, Toledo and Bowling Green, and he's hoping to land a few more once his senior season gets underway.
"Those are MAC schools and they're fine and okay, but I'd really like to play in the Big Ten," Jones said. "I was going to wait until right before the season started to verbal, but I'm probably going to play the first couple of games and see if I can get any offers by then from any Big Ten schools and then I'll decide."
Jones mentioned Ohio State among the few Big Ten schools that he knows are tracking him.
"I still like Ohio State a lot. I grew up a Buckeye fan and I'd love to play there," he said. "But Michigan State and Michigan are talking a lot."
Jim Bollman is the point man for the Buckeyes with Jones.
"I think that he's really interested in me because like he said, ‘There's not too may 6-3, 195 pound corners that can run a 4.4 (second 40-yard dash),'" Jones said. "So I think that he really is interested."
Although he's been told that he is the number one guy at each of the MAC schools that are recruiting him, Jones apparently isn't held in the same regard with the Big Ten schools at this particular time.
"I know that I didn't play up to my full potential last year because I played a new spot, so a lot of teams just want to see if I can play more physical," Jones said. "I know that I'm Big Ten material if I can just show them that I can play physical."
Jones played as a wide out on the varsity in his sophomore season before moving over to defense last year. He started all ten games at corner for the Bulldogs last year and still started some at the wide receiver position on offense as well. This year, he might even play a little at tailback as well as receiver on offense.
He covered Brian Hartline from GlenOak, already an OSU commitment, quite successfully last season.
"I thought I did pretty good containing him last year," Jones said. "He had a punt return for a touchdown against us last year but as far as receptions, he didn't do anything against us. I manned him the whole game. He had like four catches but he had no big yardage. He'd catch the ball and I was right on him."
Jones obviously has all the physical measurables needed to blanket a big and speedy receiver like a Hartline.
"I like to use my size and my strength to an advantage, and I like to use my speed a lot too," he said. "When I'm out on the corner, I like to be in man-to-man coverage. I feel like I can be left on an island and I can do alright out there with no help."
Speed is definitely a big part of his game, and he showcased that during track season. He was the district champion in the 100 and 200 meters, and he anchored the 4X100 and 4X200 to first place finishes in the districts as well. While both of his relay teams made it to the state, only the 4X100 team made it to the finals and finished sixth.
"Track not only makes you try to get even more competitive, but you can use it to build up your overall endurance and speed," Jones said. "I think track helps me to perform better in the fourth quarter."
From the track season to Ohio State's summer camp, Jones continued to display his physical prowess.
"I think I had a real good camp down there," he said. "I ran a 4.4, had a 4.2 shuttle, I got 225 up 11 times, I had a 33-inch vertical and I think I did real well in the one-on-ones. I was around Coach Tucker a lot, and whenever we were doing DB drills, he was right there watching me."
Jones, rated as one of the top 40 prospects in the state by Ohio High, lists Ohio State, Michigan State, Bowling Green, Toledo and Akron as his top five schools right now.
"I think I still have a shot with Ohio State," he said. "If I come out this year and have a real good first couple of games, I don't see a reason why they wouldn't give me a serious look."
Things are definitely trending upward for Jones at this time. And with a 3.0 GPA and a 19 on his most recent ACT, up from a 16, it just might be in the best interest of OSU and some of the other Big Ten schools to give him that serious look now.