Four-Star Linebacker Likes PSU

After enjoying his camp experience, Olney, Md., Good Counsel's Keandre Jones will return to University Park this fall.

Keandre Jones plays a little defensive end and mostly linebacker at Olney, Md., Good Counsel. It’s extra work, sure. But it pushes the odds of playing at the next level in his favor, too.

Versatility has become the name of the game in college football. At 6-foot-1, 201 pounds, college coaches can envision the junior four-star all over their defense. That includes assistants at Penn State, who must have been impressed by Jones’ athleticism and ability at the program’s Saturday Senior Elite Camp.

The prospect was impressed by what he saw, too.

“It’s amazing,” Jones said of Penn State. “I saw some friends and stuff, and it just felt like home. I felt like the coaching staff was giving off enough energy the whole time while I was there.

“I don’t think it was pretend. I felt comfortable, and it’s a place I could see myself playing.”

Jones spent most of his day with linebacker coach Brent Pry, though plenty of time was spent talking to head coach James Franklin, too.

“Coach Pry just wants to get to know me more since that was my first time up there,” Jones said. “I’m going to make a few more trips up there, but I did what I had to do at camp to show them in action.”

Pry, who joined the Lions’ coaching staff with Franklin after spending time at Vanderbilt, has quickly made a bond with the rising prospect.

“That’s one of my favorite coaches,” Jones said of Pry. “And, Coach Franklin says I’m a hard worker, and he tells me to keep it up and he wants to see me do it athletically and academically, which is not a problem.”

The Nittany Lions offered Jones under former head coach Bill O’Brien, and while an offer will likely present itself down the road, Jones said the staff would like to see him a few more times on campus.

He’ll be back in the fall, at least a couples times, he said.

“They said they want to get me there more times, and honestly, I believe I already had the offer based on what they were saying,” Jones said. “Coach Franklin was saying he loved me, and to keep doing what I’m doing and I should be fine.

“I would definitely consider Penn State being in my top five places.”

“I would definitely consider Penn State being in my top five places.”

Franklin and his staff’s enthusiasm are a big reason why the Lions sit in good shape early.

“All the coaches gave off a lot of energy, and I haven’t seen that lately in a lot of coaches,” Jones said. “Coach Franklin is hands on and what to get to know the athlete. With him, it’s just being there and he wants to get to know me.

“I feed off his energy.”

Visit season is over for the linebacker, who said his stop in University Park was his last before preseason camp begins. The junior added he has no personal goals for the fall.

“I’m such a team player that I really don’t set goals for myself,” he said. “I just set goals on what can I do to help the team out to win.

“Anything, just get interceptions, and fumbles; whatever, it doesn’t matter. Just do whatever I have to do to help the team out to win and get to the state championship game.”

That doesn’t mean Jones doesn’t have aspirations for what he would like to see at Penn State this fall, though.

“I got the chance to see the stadium without the fans, so I want to see and feel the atmosphere,” Jones said. “All the players have been saying it’s a different atmosphere once the 107k fans are screaming and cheering, and I want to experience that.”

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