Scout Rating: ****
Scout Rank: 12 JUCO
Size: 6-2, 310
Hometown: (Wren HS/East Mississippi CC)
Stats: 4.85 40
Projected position at OM: Defensive Tackle
Accolades: JUNIOR COLLEGE: Rated a 4-star prospect by all the major recruiting services … Listed as the No. 3 junior college prospect by 247Sports.com and ESPN.com, and No. 12 by Scout.com … Listed as the top junior college defensive tackle by all the major recruiting services … As a two-year starting nose guard, helped East Mississippi to a combined 24-0 record and two NJCAA national championships … As a sophomore, in 12 games, he totaled 29 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles … As a sophomore, he earned MACJC All-Region and All-State honors … As a freshman, in 12 games, he totaled 49 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks and a forced fumble … As a freshman, he earned MACJC All-State/North Division first team honors … Coached in junior college by Buddy Stephens … HIGH SCHOOL: Played high school football at Wren High in Piedmont, S.C. and was a Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas participant during his senior season … Coached in high school by Jeff Tate.
Recruiting Competition: The talented Jones held offers from, among others, Ole Miss, Alabama, Florida State, Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee and South Carolina. He could have played for any number of bigtime football programs. Jones joined fellow East Mississippi Community College teammate quarterback Chad Kelly as a member of this year’s Rebel signing class.
Quotable: “I’m just going to get in there and show what I can do and hopefully get a starting spot. They need some more help in the middle of their line next fall and they want me to be a part of it. Strength and power, of course (are attributes). I feel like my speed is a big thing, too. I weight over 300 pounds and still run a 4.8-something (40-yard dash). I just have a lot of knowledge of the game. I create some matchup problems. I’m just ready to get to the next level and learn as much as I can and become a better player.”
Scouting Report: Jones has two years to play two. His height might have concerned some recruiters, but Ole Miss did not feel that it would in any way hinder his effectiveness. Jones is immovable by a single blocker once he sets his feet. He has tremendously quick feet giving him an edge off the snap, and it allows him to spin his way out of an offensive lineman's clutches. Extremely quick in short bursts ideally a defensive tackle, but still strong enough to play a nose guard in a 3-4.
Coach Hugh Freeze Quote: “We saw D.J. last year when we were recruiting East Mississippi and we considered him a ‘must get’ player. He’s quick, explosive and he loves the game of football. We think he can take the bulk of the snaps that Bryon Bennett and Lavon Hooks had in the middle of the defense without any problem. He will be very valuable in our DL rotation immediately.”
Signee Spotlight: D.J. Jones
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