All Tate Martell or Danny Hong had to do was get the ball in the general vicinity of Alize Jones and he was going to come down with it. Bishop Gorman coasted to a 63-0 victory over Desert Oasis on Friday night and Jones' night was over by half time. Yet, in 24 minutes, the elite tight end was able to make a few highlight reel plays.
On the first drive of the game, Martell heaved a 40 yard bomb into triple coverage. Fortunately, for Gorman, Jones was standing in the middle of the endzone mob and snagged the ball at it's highest point. Additionally, Hong threw an endzone fade that seemed like it was going to soar out of the back of the endzone, up until Jones exploded into the air snatching it like Jimmy Graham. He was able to catch a total of 3 passes for 69 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Jones showed he is making strides to being a complete tight end. He had several pancake blocks and played with a chip on his shoulder the entire night. On every running play he would try (mostly with success) to drive the defensive end 10 yards down field. Once he adds the extra 15 pounds of muscle, Jones' blocking could catch up to his receiving abilities. That's a scary thought.
"We gotta play every game like it our last," Jones explained. "I don't care who we're playing, you have to go compete. Tonight was a mismatch on the field, but we went out there and did our best. I'm trying to get better every single day. I want to go up and snag every contested ball, I did that tonight, but I still need to get better. I can improve my route running, my speed, and my hands. I can never be content with the way I am. The goal is to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be. There is always room to improve, so the grind never stops. I know college is a completely different game, so improvement between now and then is key."
Jones has a lot of the skills you look for in a big time tight end. He has the frame, the explosiveness, he moves with ease, and is a mismatch on just about any defender. With a year or two in a college strength program, Jones could emerge as one of the top receiving tight ends in the NCAA. As of now, UCLA has tremendous commit, but they will need to fend off one team to land the five-star on Signing Day.
"Right now, I'm still a Bruin," Jones stated. "I am committed to UCLA and that's where I'm planning to go to school right now. But, Notre Dame is in the picture too. At the end of the day, I need to do what's best for me. Whether the college I go to is close to home or far away really isn't a factor, it's all about what is going to help me be the most succcessful."
"Coach Kelly (Brian) always talks about the 40 year plan, not the 4 year plan," Jones said. "That's something I am buying into. I know football doesn't last forever, so I am really high on getting the best education I can get while I play football. I also love the way Notre Dame use their tight ends. You look at Tyler Eifert, Kyle Rudolph, and all the other tight ends Notre Dame has got to the league, it's hard not to be impressed. The plan is to go out to South Bend on an official and check things out and then make a decision closer to Signing Day."
Jones is only looking at UCLA and Notre Dame right now, insisting it is a two team race.
"There really isn't anyone else I am considering right now," Jones claimed. "It's down to those two schools. I am committed to UCLA right now, so we'll see what happens. Right now, it's all about finishing our season strong. I try not to let recruiting stuff distract me too much. It's about winning another championship at Bishop Gorman and locking up that #1 spot."
The recruiting battle between UCLA and Notre Dame could lead to a lot of suspense. Jones mentioned that his decision could come down to the last minute. Scout.com will keep you posted.