Bronx (N.Y.) Cardinal Hayes receiver Shameen Jones entered the camp circuit hungry. Jones already had scholarship opportunities, but he wanted to prove himself to a wider audience.
Jones achieved his goals, and the effort paid off after strong camps at Lauren's First and Goal in Easton, Pa., and the Tri-State Football Showcase in Madison, N.J.
Rutgers attended both camps, and saw enough to offer Thursday in a conversation with defensive backs coach Bill Busch.
“He didn't give me a specific reason why but he just said they wanted to offer me,” he said. “It's probably one of my best offers right now. I was really excited and to have an offer that close to home is a big plus.”
Rutgers is new to Jones, who has never been to campus. Expect that to change soon.
Head coach Chris Ash welcomes another wave of campers Sunday, where Jones hopes to visit. If Jones does not make the trip, he plans to be on campus by the end of next week.
“So far I've only been to Syracuse and Buffalo, so it's important [to visit Rutgers],” Jones said. “... I want a school that's not too far from home but far enough where I'm not around my family all of the time. I want a school that has a good play-style that fits my position. I'm looking for somewhere that puts its athletes in the NFL and a physical therapy major.”
A success story of the satellite camp season, Jones almost doubled his offers from six to 11 after two appearances this week at events.
“I think when they see me at camps, it's a big difference,” he said. “[Coaches] see my ability to catch the ball and have good hands coming out of my breaks quickly. They saw me getting by some of their top recruits [at yesterday's camp].”
Jones plans to visit Bowling Green, Albany and Delaware as soon as possible with a late-summer decision as the goal. A three-time team captain at the high-school level, Jones wants his senior season to come first.
“I'm confident in my ability to work with other people,” Jones said. “I'm very cooperative and I can be a leader. I'm a captain, and I'm able to lead my team and keep everything in order. Leadership is important.”