Maryland DE has "always loved Rutgers"

Rutgers is recruiting a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end out of Baltimore who already holds offers from West Virginia and two ACC schools. He says he "always loved Rutgers" and has built a relationship with Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano. The player in queston was at the Scarlet Knights' junior day, and plans on attending camp at Rutgers in June. Jones also talks about his offers.

Boys Latin School (Baltimore) defensive end Marco Jones lives in the shadows of the University of Maryland, and holds offers from the Terps, West Virginia and Virginia.

However, Jones always had a soft spot for Rutgers, one of the dozen or so schools recruiting him.

The 6-fot-4, 245-pound Jones was at Rutgers' junior day last month, and plans on making another trip to campus in the spring.

"I always loved Rutgers,'' Jones said. "I liked the program, I like what coach (Greg) Schiano is trying to do with the program. I follow them on t.v. and watching their style of play, and I like their defense.''

Jones got his fill of the Rutgers program during junior day, when Schiano took time to speak with him. He also gained a feel for the campus.

"I thought it was nice. It was really spread out and big, but it was nice,'' Jones said. "I like the athletic center and the football facilities. I got a chance to talk to coach Schiano, and some of the other coaches.

"(Schiano) talked to me about their defensive ends, and how they have to be almost as good as outside linebackers, and that's how most of the schools are now. Most of the schools recruiting me see me as either a defensive end or an outside linebacker.''

Jones was being recruited by defensive line coach Gary Emanuel, but he left earlier this month to take a job at Purdue. Jones' new recruiting coach is Emanuel's replacement, Randy Melvin, and Jones said there was no drop-off in his recruitment during the staff change, mostly because Schiano kept in contact via email.

By the time Rutgers' camp runs in June, Jones is hoping he has an offer from the Scarlet Knights.

"If Rutgers doesn't offer me by the summer time, I'll probably go to their camp,'' Jones said. "And probably Pittsburgh's camp, and maybe Duke's camp.''

Boston College, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Duke, Iowa, Notre Dame and Michigan are also recruiting Jones, who made 68 tackles and had five sacks as a junior. He also played offensive tackle.

"I played both ways all year,'' Jones said, "and it kind of hindered me from getting the amount of sacks I wanted. I'll probably play tight end this year.''

Jones also attended Maryland's junior day, and will be at Virginia's event March 6. Inclement weather caused him to cancel his trip to Pittsburgh's junior day.

He is hoping to make a decision before the start of his senior season, if circumstances allow it to happen.

"I'm just looking for something diverse,'' he said, "where they have my major, either business or mechanical engineering, and somewhere with nice weather. Get out of the snow a little bit.''

Of the schools to offer Jones, Virginia and Maryland are the most familiar to him.

Virginia coach Mike London, who was hired from Richmond after the season, saw Jones during a camp last summer at Richmond.

"They were going to offer me, but they saw I was too good, or whatever, and thought I was going to get Division I offers, so they gave me a verbal,'' Jones said. "When he went to Virginia, he remembered me and offered me.

"West Virginia, they just reviewed my film and decided to offer me. I should be going down there soon.''

Maryland is the hometown school, and Jones has been there a handful of times.

"I pretty know everything about them,'' Jones said. "I went to their junior day, and went to a (basketball) game. They're really interested. They want to get me up there.''

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