Jones still hard at work recruiting

InsideTennessee keeps readers on top of all the latest news and upstates. Scroll down to read about rock-solid Tennessee commit Jack Jones and his never-ending in-state recruiting efforts.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Time and time again, Tennessee's coaching staff has emphasized the importance of gaining a recruiting stronghold in the mid-state region.

That effort has been undoubtedly successful so far, as Butch Jones and company yielded signed letters of intent from seven Nashville-area products in 2014.

But Tennessee commit Jack Jones is hoping that number is even higher in the 2015 class.

Jones, a Scout four-star offensive tackle from Oakland (Tenn.) High School, is hard at work talking up the Vols to several in-state products at events such as the Tennessee Exposure Camp on May 4.

"We got to get ‘em all," Jones told InsideTennessee. "Trust me, I'm working them."

At the In Full Motion/Playmakers Academy event, the 6-foot-5, 280-pounder spent most of his time chatting with the likes of Van Jefferson, Cameron Ordway and Kyle Phillips.

But Jones' sights extend beyond 2015.

He is taking particular interest to class of 2017 and Ensworth (Tenn.) prospect Jacoby Stevens.

"He's going to be a freak of nature," Jones told IT. "I mean, he looks like a senior. There may not be anyone here who can cover him."

While Jones is now trying his hardest to recruit the best and brightest in the Volunteer State, that doesn't mean Vols coaches have simply stopped calling. Jones described his relationship with Tennessee offensive line coach Don Mahoney as "better than ever."

"We've kind of grown past, you know, coach and recruiter to becoming good friends. We just talk about whatever," Jones told IT. "I'll ask him questions. … we talk about other recruits and life period. It's been really good developing that relationship with him."

Jones is also excited about the new offense being installed at Oakland.

While not identical to Tennessee's up-tempo scheme, Jones said he'll be running several similar plays including a heavy dose of zone-read runs — the Vols' bread and butter.

"I think it will be great," Jones said. "Working that offense right before I get to Tennessee, you know, maybe get a head start on some other guys. I think I'll come in ready to roll."

But before he can start fighting for a spot on the two-deep depth chart next fall, Jones will have to settle at a position.

Currently, he feels his biggest upside at the college level is at center and thinks guard is a possibility as well.

"I'm not really worried. It's not about what's best for me, it's about what's best for the team." Jones said. "That's just how I do things."

Jones said he'll be spending his summer working on his foot work and rehabbing from torn cartilage and ligaments in his wrist, which he calls "no big deal."

"I'm just ready to get to work," Jones said. "I can't wait to get up there."

Part of the reason Jones is so eager to head east to Knoxville is what he calls a "great" relationship with his fellow commits in the 2015 class, particularly with defensive ends Andrew Butcher and Dylan Jackson.

The three certainly aren't afraid to tease each other, and Jones saw his recent IT interview as an opportunity to take a shot at his future teammates.

"We're going to end up playing Maryville (High School) and we're going to beat them, I just wanted to let Dylan know that," Jones said with a grin. "… Also, put in there that I pull more girls than Andrew Butcher any day of the week."

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