Three Programs Lead for Jones

The #3-ranked running back in the country, Malcolm Jones of Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, said he doesn't have a leader, but favors three programs. But, according to Jones, it might not be a long wait to find out which of the three get his commitment...

Malcolm Jones, the 6-foot, 215-pound five-star running back from Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Calif., has 10 scholarship offers, three of which stand out.

Jones,'s No. 3 running back, has offers from USC, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Washington, Oklahoma and LSU.

He favors Stanford, UCLA and Oklahoma, but denies a leader amongst those.

Jones attended junior days at Stanford, UCLA and USC and says his parents like Stanford. "They like the academics at Stanford," he said. "You really can't beat the Stanford education in the west."

The Cardinal were Jones' first offer last September. "I like how they are on the rise," he said. "They said they want some big playmakers that can make an impact. They told me that I could be a feature back for them and be able to play early."

He says that Stanford and UCLA are recruiting him the hardest.

"I really liked the campus at UCLA," he said. "It's not too big and I like how it's easy to get around.

"I think the program is really solid," Jones said. "They have good coaches are and getting better. I like the coaches a lot. They are all really nice."

Jones is being recruited by Bruins defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Chuck Bullough. "He's an outgoing guy," he said. "He's very talkative and he said that they really like my power. They see using me on short yardage situations."

Although Jones won't be attending any camps this summer, he says he hopes to take an unofficial visit to Oklahoma. "They are known for having great running backs," he said. "They use them a lot and I love the offense they run. I've been talking to their running back coach (Cale Gundy) a lot recently and they seem to really like me."

Jones is the younger brother of Marshall Jones, who is a junior safety at USC. "My brother goes there so I know USC pretty well," he said. "He's not trying to get me to go there or anything. It's my decision. It's really not a big factor that he goes there at all.

"He told me to take my time and not commit until I feel like I'm completely sure I know where I want to go," he said.

"My coach really wants me to commit before the season starts," he said. "But if I don't feel it's right, I won't. He'd rather not have that be a distraction during the season, but I'm only going to commit when I feel it's right.

"Mainly, it's going to be about academics," Jones said. "But I'll also see where I get along with the coaches best. I'd like to play for coaches that are kind of relaxed, but get serious when it's crunch time."

Jones says that he never followed a specific program growing up and says that distance will not be a factor.

His most recent offer was from LSU and Jones admits it came as a slight surprise. "They had been recruiting me for a little bit but I wasn't sure they'd offer," he said. "They just offered me on Friday (May 15) and I'm still trying to get to know them better."

Jones finished his junior season with 141 carries for 1,600 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also had five touchdowns receiving.

He says he can bench 300-pounds, squat 500 and has a 33-inch vertical jump.

"My biggest strength is my leg power," Jones said. "It takes a lot to bring me down. It's usually not one guy.

"I'm more of a bigger back who has power," he said. "I'm a downhill runner, but I still have some pretty good moves and jukes too.

"I want to work on my footwork," he said. "I'd like to be more agile and I want to be able to slow down and get back to full speed quickly."

Jones plans on majoring in business finance and reports a 3.9 core GPA and a 24 ACT.

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