“I liked it a lot. It’s not a very large campus so it wouldn’t be a problem getting from class to class,” Jones said. “It looks very nice to me. Somewhere I wouldn’t mind spending the next few years of college there.”
Jones visited with a group of Arlington Heights teammates and the visit was the topic of conversation on the way back.
“We all talked about it. We liked it a lot,” Jones said. “It’s not too far from the house, but just far enough that our moms can’t get to us very easily. We talked about it and we like it a lot.”
SMU defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt talked with Jones about SMU’s defense following a tour of the campus, weight room, locker room and field.
“I talked to him for a while and he explained to me that they’d be running a 4-3 on the front, which is something that’s very exciting for me,” the 6-3, 277-pound defensive end said. “I’d play defensive end and he explained to me that he needs some big, athletic linemen such as myself. Him telling me that they’re going to run a 4-3 is something I’ve very excited about.”
Wyatt and Jones agreed they’ll be seeing more of eachother soon.
“I told him that I would be back to see how one of their practices goes and he said he’d be out to one of my practices to see how I’m doing,” Jones said. “I told him SMU is a place I wouldn’t mind spending the next few years of college.”
SMU defensive coordinator Van Malone also made a connection with Jones.
“He reminds me a lot about my defensive coordinator, someone very passionate about football and playing defense, smash mouth defense,” Jones said.
While Jones wouldn’t mind moving around the line, he expects to be at defensive end.
“They had already offered me a scholarship. I’m not certain where they’re going to place me. I’m hoping and assuming defensive end because that’s one of my strongest positions,” Jones said. “I fluctuate across the lines and wherever they decide to put me, I’d be happy to do that.”
As for a decision, Jones only has an SMU offer at this point and when he thinks other schools are done showing interest, he’ll make a decision. TCU is the other school to show some interest.
“When I’m pretty certain all of the offering will be done with, I plan on sitting back, talking to my coaches, my parents, praying about it to see what the best decision is for me.”
In his junior season, Jones tallied five sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 17 total tackles.
As for his major takeaway from junior day, Jones recognized how close the coaches are.
“The one thing that probably stood out was, you know I love football. I am on high on academics. I really did like the George W. Bush Institute and Dallas Hall. The program itself, just the coaching staff they seem like they have a lot of cohesion. They came to SMU to make a change.”
Jones doesn’t have any other visits planned at the time since he’s in track season.