Jack Jones locks up The Opening invite

While many have seen Long Beach Poly wide receiver Jackie Jones get open on Friday nights, the four-star junior got open Sunday by locking down receivers as a cornerback.

REDONDO, Calif. — Jackie Jones made a surprising announcement two weeks ago when he revealed his top five college choices without USC among his options.

Sunday, Jones displayed a tremendous backpedal both on the field by winning defensive back MVP at the Los Angeles Regional of The Opening and in his interviews regarding that top five.

“I was looking at coaches and programs… I don’t really have a top five,” said Jones. “My main thing is that I want to give every college an opportunity to recruit me. I also want to go to a school that wants me.

“I want to go to a school where I can make an impact and they see a fit for me. I want to do big things as a freshman. It’s not about not likely USC or liking USC less. I don’t have any questions about USC.”

Through deductive reasoning, one might assume USC is not recruiting Jones as hard as other schools. Jones dismissed that thought and also dispelled any notion he doesn’t want to follow Long Beach Poly senior standout Iman Marshall as a cornerback at USC.

“Oh, I don’t care about that at all,” said Jones. “I don’t want to go to a college and be handed a position. I want to go in and earn my position.

“I want to go to the NFL, and if I’m handed a position in college, I’m going expect that in the NFL. It doesn’t work like that. I never want anything handed to me. I want to work for everything I get.

“I’ll compete against Iman and try to take his spot if that what it takes. I never want anything handed to me.”

Sunday, Jones took home the defensive back MVP with multiple interceptions on the day playing cornerback. He also took home an invitation to The Opening in Beaverton (Ore.) this summer.

“I just wanted to show everyone that I could play defensive back, receiver… do it all,” said Jones. “I was just looking to beat whoever they put in front of me.

Tyler Vaughns was a guy that I went against a lot. I didn’t really think he was that good of a receiver, to be honest. I never really saw him play live until today. Going against him was good competition.

“I’d say Tyler and Trevon Sidney were the two best guys I went against. I felt with those guys, we made each other better. Tyler is that bigger more physical receiver, while Sidney is quicker. You have to move your feet with him, you can’t just use your hands.”

With all of that said, Jones talked about his maintained interest in USC.

“Every time I go to their campus it’s just good energy,” said Jones. “The coaches have fun with what they do and they have fun with their players.

“They handle their business at USC, but they have a really good relationship with their kids. You can see that just being around them.”

Jones said just a month ago that USC would always be a part of his recruitment. Sunday, he wasn’t quite as sure.

“I can’t say that right now,” said Jones. “Either way, I have to see more schools and take some visits. I can’t say I won’t eliminate them at some point or that I would.”

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