Stripling keys Vols' lead for Jones

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D.J. Jones keeps nudging his way toward a four-year college destination.

The Scout four-star prospect is one of the nation's most highly sought after interior defensive lineman. On Sunday, he revealed a top 10 that stakes the Tennessee Volunteers as his top school.

The sophomore defensive tackle at East Mississippi Community College says the Tennessee staff's being on him through his academic issues on the prep level continues to keep the top of all lists painted orange.

"I really felt like they deserved it seeing how they've been with me since Day 1," Jones told InsideTennessee. "When I had problems in high school, they stayed with me, and they've continued to recruit me hard."

Jones visited Tennessee earlier this summer and said "a lot of things" stood out.

"Being with the head coach all day and him basically being my tour guide, then just getting to talk with him. Just sitting down with Steve Stripling the defensive line coach, sitting down talking some ball. Seeing the facilities and just seeing Tennessee as a whole. It was great."

Joining the Orange & White in his top 10 (in order) are Alabama, Clemson, South Carolina, Auburn, USC, Florida State, Ole Miss, Florida and Georgia.

"The coach was the difference, my defensive line coach," Jones said of how he got down to 10. "I just went through and saw who I had good relationships with. I have a good relationship with all these coaches. I felt it was time to make that top 10."

The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder out of Wren (S.C.) High School plans to trim again down to a top 5 at the "beginning of the season" with an "early December" date set for public declaration before enrolling in January.

Jones says he does not know exact dates but Florida State and Tennessee will receive two of his allotted five official visits.


Discuss Jones' recruitment with InsideTennessee analysts and subscribers by CLICKING HERE.


Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the Scout team July 2011.
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