SMU is looking for one more defensive lineman in its 2017 recruiting class. One of the targets still on the board is Lancaster (Texas) three-star defensive end Noah Jones, whom SMU offered in February.
“We talk every day, it’s consistent,” Jones said. “Coach Mathis and coach Morris. The coaches, I feel like they’re family. They have a family feel.”
Jones has visited SMU multiple times, including a private unofficial with a few of his Lancaster teammates and for SMU’s spring game in April. SMU was the only school he visited in the spring.
“I really liked it. I feel like they’re fixing it all on defense and I like their style of play,” Jones said. “I feel like that when stuff is going wrong, they still talk through it. They get together as a team.”
SMU was the second school to offer Jones, who currently holds 15 FBS offers. His offer list includes Colorado State, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Nevada, Purdue and Tulsa. Houston and Baylor have shown interest. Jones, Scout’s eighth-ranked defensive end in Texas, said that of all the coaches recruiting him, he has the strongest relationship with the SMU coaches.
“I feel I really connect with SMU more than the other schools,” Jones said.
Jones also said he is consistently in contact with Indiana defensive line coach Mark Hagen and Texas State secondary coach Jules Montiar.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Jones didn’t name a leader or a decision timeline, but he listed four schools that are sticking out to him: SMU, Texas State, Indiana and Kansas.
Jones plays both end and tackle for Lancaster. He has the frame to grow into a defensive tackle in college, but still has the physical tools to be a defensive end in a four-man front. This spring, the Lancaster coaches have challenged him to work on his technique and his conditioning. He’s improved his first step off the line.
“I think I come off the line faster than others, and I have good footwork because I played basketball,” Jones said.
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Jones said he doesn’t have a preference for playing end or tackle in college.