Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Ottis Jones was a UCLA fan. He attended Bruin practices and followed them on the airwaves. UCLA showed some interest, but it was their conference foe Arizona State, that recruited Jones harder and received his verbal commitment. On Saturday Jones received a long awaited UCLA offer, and told Devils Digest that now he's pondering whether to open his recruitment.
|"That offer sort of makes things complicated for me," said the 6-2, 275-pound Jones. "UCLA was a school that I was hoping that would offer and they kind of surprised me when they offered. Before I had any offers I was talking to the UCLA coaches. (Former UCLA Head Coach) Coach Dorrell came to my school and told me ‘to be patient (about a UCLA offer).' And now even after he left they're offering me." |
The Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger defensive tackle, who verbaled two weeks ago to Arizona State, said that he didn't believe that his commitment to the Sun Devils prompted UCLA to step up their recruiting efforts with him.
"I sent them my game film more than a couple of weeks ago and Coach (Todd) Howard said that he didn't have a chance to look at it yet back then," said Jones, "but now that he did see it he liked what he saw and thought that I was a very strong player."
Jones noted that he talked to ASU defensive coordinator Craig Bray on Sunday, who said that he and Sun Devil defensive line coach Grady Stretz will come and visit him at his high school this week. Furthermore, he commented that he didn't hear the UCLA coaches mention any plans to visit him as well in the coming days.
Coach Howard did ask Jones to think about the UCLA offer and give him his thoughts about it on Monday. The defensive tackle told Devils Digest that this is exactly what he intends to do. "I have some thinking to do," Jones stated. "I made my commitment to ASU and that's where I committed to. I don't know if there's anything that can change me mind or not."
One reason why UCLA was hesitant to offer Jones in the past was his SAT test score. Jones said that he's about 30 points away each in his English and Math sections of the test and was confident that he could get that high of a score that would qualify him to the Bruins.
"I was gonna take the SAT again no matter what," he explained. "(ASU's wide receivers) Coach Yarber told me that I should take the test again and see how I do. 30 points is just six more questions…I already have a 3.0 GPA."
Jones stressed to us that he didn't want to react in a hasty manner, one way or another, to that UCLA offer and plans on taking his time for his final decision on the college of his choice. "Signing day is definitely the day of my final decision and I don't know if I'll decide before that or not," he said. "I'm still at Arizona State, but I still need time to think."
Jones tallied 73 tackles, seven sacks and two fumble recoveries for the 6-5 Olympians. Iowa State was the only other school the defensive tackle visited, aside from ASU. He also had offers from Colorado, Nevada, and Washington State, and had planned to visit Oregon after his ASU trip and probably receive a scholarship offer on that trip.