Penn Hills is no stranger to producing talent for the next level. Recent 2010 graduates Cullen Christian and Aaron Donald saw the field as true freshmen at Michigan and Pittsburgh, respectively. Redshirt freshman defensive back Brandon Ifill has been in the mix in the Pitt secondary during spring practices.
Corey Jones is looking to keep that tradition going. Jones had over 2,000 all-purpose yards as a junior, scoring 20 touchdowns on offense. He also had five kickoff returns for touchdowns and another two on punt returns.
Jones has offers from Kansas, Kent State and West Virginia. The 5-10, 165-pound Jones showed great breakaway speed which produce yards after the catch in this past weekend's Badger Sports New Level Athletics 7-on-7. In addition to a strong showing at the tournament held in Pittsburgh this past weekend, Jones has received a lot of interest from the hometown Panthers. Jones was one of 40 juniors invited to the Pitt junior day last month.
"It was real fun," Jones said of the junior day. "They really showed me a lot of love. They just told me in their offense, I could be a big asset to their offense. I keep thinking about that, staying close to home. I would really like to stay at home, but I am keeping it open."
Pitt defensive backs coach Tony Gibson is in charge of Jones' recruitment. Gibson was able land Christian out of Penn Hills in 2010.
"I talk to (Gibson), I talk to him almost every day," Jones said. "I understand that he wants to get me up here. They're really showing a lot of attention, and a lot of interest."
Jones fits the protocol of Pitt's 2-receiver, which is a hybrid running back/receiver, a slot receiver. Current Pitt players such as Cameron Saddler, Kevin Weatherspoon and Jake Delmonico have been working out at the position this spring. Jones is impressed with the new look of Pitt's offense this spring.
"They're going to try to put a whole lot of points on the board," Jones said. "They're going to try to air it out. If I do go to Pitt, I think I'm going to get a lot of love, a lot of playing time. They're saying they don't have any slots. That's where I play at."
Jones hopes to get back to Pitt in the near future. In the mean time, he also has some other plans for his spring and early summer.
"I'm going to go to the Penn State Nike Camp, I'm going to go up there," Jones said. "My team, we're going to Akron, to Ohio State for 7-on-7s. We're just trying to get a lot of interest against a lot of top competition. We're really doing well."
Jones will also use his 7-on-7 experience to help in his development.
"I think it's fun, I like it a lot," Jones said. "You get a whole lot of challenge out there. I think it's real fun. I get along with a whole bunch of people on my team, new people. I think it's a good experience. We get a whole lot of competition for next season. I think we're on a whole level ahead of people that don't get to do this. It's a whole lot better, I think."