When Naijee Jones dressed for games as a junior with Erial (N.J.) Timber Creek, he was close to a college decision that led him to Rutgers.
Jones picked Rutgers at the end of his junior season. Nine months and a coaching change later, Jones remains one of Rutgers' most vocal commitments.
“A lot of family went into that decision,” Jones said. “A lot of advice and thinking went into that decision. Everyone was totally with it, and that didn't change at all once coach [Chris] Ash came on board. The intensity now, the new age is there now. It's a new staff and everyone up there is very intense in what they do.”
Jones has his focus on a senior year at Timber Creek, where he plays cornerback, but remains in constant contact with the Rutgers coaching staff.
“I talk to them a lot,” Jones said. “Coach Ash and coach [Aaron] Henry, we talk every day. I'm just ready to learn from them every day. … It's exciting that my senior year is here. I'm ready to work and compete for a championship and then I'm off to college.”
Jones is focused on his own training camp while reports from other Timber Creek players at Rutgers have him excited about the future.
“Training camp is hard,” Jones said. “My friend [Williams] calls me every day and tells me how hard it is. He's telling me that I better get prepared now.”
Scarlet Report spoke with Jones after a quad-scrimmage at Monmouth University. One of his opponents, Camden (N.J.) Woodrow Wilson, is the home of Rutgers cornerback commit Edwin Lopez. Lopez is committed to Rutgers as a cornerback but plays safety as a senior.
“He definitely impressed me,” Jones said. “He's a great player, strong, fast, explosive. He's a cool guy too.”