Jones "very interested" in SMU after offer

SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis is in hot pursuit of a running back for 2015 and recently offered Spring HS's Xavier Jones. He talks about his interest inside!

SMU running backs coach Claude Mathis has hit Dallas hard since joining the staff and nearby Spring High School running back Xavier Jones got a visit shortly before the dead period.

“He was very interested in me and they wanted me to come down and visit, but he’d get back with me on the weekend,” Jones said. “He told me some real good things so I’m excited,”

Mathis did offer Jones through his coach after the weekend because of the dead period and there’s a reason Jones knew he could be getting an offer.

“He told me when he came down, he usually doesn’t come down just to talk to any running back,” the 5-11, 180-pound speedster said. “He said I’m real good and special. He told me that if I come to the program, I’d be a big threat early.”

Another plus that Mathis pointed out was staying near home to play.

“He told me I’d be close to home and that’s another big thing is I want to stay close, but if I can’t that’s okay as well,” Jones said. “It was just a lot of good, positive things. He’s big on academics so that’s a good thing too.”

Jones is focused on three major things in his recruitment that he wants to see and Mathis has been hitting every single nail on the head including playing early.

“That’s a real good thing. That’s what I want to do,” Jones said. “I got three things that I really am liking what I’m hearing and that’s close to home, I can play early and they’re big on academics.”

While Jones would like to stay close to home, the opportunities he receives will be treated as a case-by-case decision.

“It just depends on the situation. If it’s the best thing for me do is to stay close to home and I am able to show my talent, I’m not sitting on the bench for a long time, I’m getting my education and being able to graduate,” Jones said.

The people around the program are another piece of the puzzle for Jones.

“I’m also big on the school, the environment. Do I like the coaches? Do I like who’s around me? Do I like the players?” Jones said. “It’s just going to play itself out once I visit and can get a feel for what it’s going to be like my next four years if that’s where I’m going to go.”

UNLV and New Mexico have offered although Jones hasn’t visited them. With UNLV, it’s been quiet because of the new coach. Jones is unsure he’ll even visit those options because SMU is on top, but Jones wouldn’t say it’s a done deal.

“After I visit, then I can answer that question. Right now, I’m just pretty open to seeing who’s going to give me the best opportunity,” Jones said. “I am very interested right now in SMU. I like what I’m hearing so that’s a good thing and SMU is over a lot of schools and over the two offers I have.”

Before coach Mathis made contact with Jones, he didn’t know too much about SMU, but does know a couple players on the team.

“I really didn’t get to watch SMU a lot this year, but I do know Matt Davis. We used to workout together,” Jones said. “I kept up with Deion Sanders, Jr., but I didn’t get into the school thing.”

All Jones has to go off right now is what Mathis has told him.

“Coach Mathis told me a lot of good things about the school that I didn’t know about and the new coaching staff. I think the program is about to change,” Jones said. “I feel like there’s a lot of good coaches coming into the program that can change this program around quick so I’m excited.”

On the field, Jones loves to get into the open field and plays with passion that helps him just do his job.

“I don’t talk much. I just do my job. I have a lot of fun and play with passion so I’m very emotional on the field. Not crying or anything like that, but I take the game very serious, but I also have fun,” Jones said. “I take football as a job and it’s my business. I have to do to stay on the field. I don’t want to get fired or mess up, but I don’t think about that. I just go out there and play and have fun.”

When considering SMU, Mathis and the impression he left is certainly standing out right now.

“I think he’s a great man. If my choice was to come to SMU then he will treat me right. We’d have a good relationship, a good bond,” Jones said. “Right now, I really enjoyed talking to him because he’s a good person and he seems like a great coach. I’m kind of thinking of going to play for him.”

In his senior year, Jones ran for 2,449 yards on 301 carries, an average of 8.1 yards per carry and 31 rushing touchdowns according to MaxPreps.

His stellar season earned him the District 15-6A Offensive MVP award while landing on first-team all-district as well.


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