The Scout four-star wide receiver and Patterson, La., native wasn’t shy in his assessment of the Vols and how they now fare in his recruitment process after a day of pomp and circumstance in Knoxville.
“They really helped themselves out a lot,” Jones told InsideTennessee. “I feel like they’re top two, top three now in my choices. I really like Tennessee.”
The Vols shot up his recruitment rankings after a day of games, tours and personal contact with the Tennessee coaching staff. Tennessee now finds itself in the company of Alabama and USC at the top of the No. 2-ranked wide out in Louisiana’s recruitment board.
“Like I said, just the love and the tradition here,” Jones said of what he liked about the Vols. “Them being up front with me and telling me where I would play and how I would come right in and be an effective player for the team, all that really helped them.”
Jones, who boasts offers from LSU, Georgia, Alabama, Oregon, USC, Florida State and Stanford, among others, relished the opportunity to speak with offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni about where he would fit in Tennessee’s offense.
“They just told me that I could come and be great,” Jones said. “As far as education, I’m the brand that they’re looking for. As far as on the field, obviously, they said that I’m a phenomenal player and I can play anywhere on the field for them.”
Despite being in the heart of LSU country, the No. 13-rated wide receiver in the South Region said he doesn’t feel any pressure to gravitate toward the Tigers.
“I don’t think of it like that. I care about them. They show love too, but it’s just different. When I go to these other places I get a different feeling from them,” Jones said.
“It’s nothing against LSU, but when I know I fit the scheme and I feel the love from a certain place, it’s just different.”
Jones doesn’t have a specific time for when he wants to make a final decision but did note he isn’t trying to drag the process out. In the meantime, he wants to better himself both as a player and a person as his senior season at Patterson High School approaches.
“Improvement wise, personally, I’m just looking to become a better person off the field, on the field, continue to keep my grades up, continue to get better at my craft — route running, catching the ball — and just continue to [improve],” he said.
The Vols undoubtedly made a strong impression on the 6-foot, 185-pound receiver who runs a 4.45 40-yard-dash and prides himself on his quick burst and ball skills. Jones, who helped lead his team to the Class 3A quarterfinals last season, hauled in 32 catches for 606 yards and eight touchdown last year at Patterson High School.
“Right now I'm just trying to manage and see who really, really wants me,” he said. “I know Tennessee is one of those schools and right now, they may be that school.”
Mykel Jones Junior Highlights