Jones Takes In Ohio State Experience

With the 2009 class nearly sewn up, Ohio State is starting to turn its interest to the next batch of recruits. One of those who took in OSU's campus this past weekend is Tai-ler Jones. The four-star wideout from Gainesville, Ga., talked his trip and the possibility of moving north with BuckeyeSports.com.

Trying to keep Tai-ler Jones out of the news on recruiting sites has been nearly impossible over the past few weeks.

That's largely because the 2010 wide receiver prospect is one of the hardest-working prospects in the nation.

Jones is crisscrossing the country this winter looking at schools in an effort to make a decision on his college choice by spring. The four-star prospect from Gainesville, Ga., went from the Peach State to Notre Dame and Ohio State this past weekend with many more trips on the docket.

"It's hectic," he said. "It's just so much flying and driving, and at the end of the I did want to just go home and lay down and rest a little bit. But in the end it's something I have to do in order to make my decision as early as I want to. It's worth it."

While at Ohio State, Jones liked many of the things that most prospects who trip to Columbus like – and something that many Southern prospects might not.

That would be snow.

On the way to his trip to see Ohio Stadium with members of the coaching staff, Jones was able to see the beginnings of a light dusting of snow that hit Columbus ahead of the major winter storm taking part right now.

"Personally, I loved the snow," He said. "We don't get to see it a lot in Georgia. When it does come down, it's like something amazing, so I would love to live in a cold area where it snows. That wouldn't be a problem for me."

As a result, a number of Northern schools like Notre Dame – the alma mater of his father, Andre, who played football – Michigan State and OSU are on Jones' list, though he does has maintained he doesn't have any favorites.

His interest in Ohio State was evidenced by his visit, and the 6-0, 174-pounder said he liked his time talking with the Buckeye coaching staff, including head man Jim Tressel and assistant head coach/wideouts coach Darrell Hazell.

"What stood out to me was the fact that Coach Tressel sat down and talked to me and my dad for an hour, and the whole time he talked he probably mentioned football once," Jones said. "He was really talking to us like people and talking to us as him being a dad and talking to my dad about how Ohio State is good for me and all the values and everything he has in his players.

"After that Coach Hazell talked to me for an hour and sat down and talked about the offense and talked about how many first-round receivers they've put in the pros and how they would use me in their offense, which was impressive in my opinion."

He also toured the Ohio State campus and the Buckeye football facilties, though he had to leave before the basketball game in the late afternoon against then-No. 7 Michigan State.

"It's in the middle of a city, and it's really like a city in itself," Jones said of the OSU campus. "If you want to go out one night, you don't really have to leave campus. Everything is right there. They have movie theaters and restaurants and all kinds of things for you to do. It's almost like a safer campus because you don't have to go too far to have fun."

While on campus, he chatted with former Gainesville Red Elephant Keith Wells, a freshman on last year's squad. Wells is just one of a number of Georgians to pick Ohio State in recent years.

"He said that the transition was easy, easier than he thought, and that Gainesville will have me prepared if I go to Ohio State," Jones said.

Jones was offered in early December out of the blue by the Buckeye coaching staff after a season that included 1,000 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns.

"My coach told me he just sent in the film and they watched and they pretty much offered me on the spot," he said. "I was surprised that a school of that caliber offered me so fast without knowing who I really was at first."

Jones has plans to go to Florida State this upcoming weekend before a trip to Texas during February's first weekend. Later this month there are plans to see Michigan State and North Carolina.

When asked what would separate a school from the rest, Jones said, "Just how I feel when I walk on campus and the vibe I get from the coaches and after talking to like players and former players, just the environment that's built around the football team and the environment of the campus."


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