A.C. Jones High School (Beeville, Texas) wide receiver Waydale Jones had the size, skill, intellect and work ethic to succeed.
He put it all together in his senior season, exploding for nearly 2,000 receiving yards on 115 catches — 30 of them for touchdowns.
With that production on the field, Jones has now found increased interest from colleges all across the country.
He’s set to visit Wake Forest Jan. 20.
“Wake Forest has a very good academic portion of the school. I’m a student-athlete, and a student first,” Jones said. “I want to be a cardiologist, and they have their own medical institute. That’s a big time factor right there.
“They have a lot of new facilities, and (assistant head) coach (Kevin)Higgins is a great coach who is straight-forward. I can’t wait to meet the rest of the coaching staff.”
Jones said finding the right fit on the field will be one of the keys to his decision.
“I’m looking for the right fit and the right offense. I’m looking for somewhere I can come in — I know I’m going to have to earn my spot, but how early I can hit the field will be a factor,” he said. “I don’t want to have to wait forever to get playing time. Also, the right offense is important. I don’t want to end up somewhere that runs the ball 40 times a game and only throws it 10-or-15 times a game. That will be a big factor right there.”
He’s kept a level head as the increased improvement led to more attention from college coaches.
“I just give credit to the man upstairs. I stayed on top of the grind — working, working, working. I had perseverance,” Jones said. “The improvement from my junior to senior year was just tremendous. Thanks to the coaching staff here at AC Jones High School here in Beeville, Texas. I couldn’t be more blessed, and I couldn’t be happier I give all the credit to God.”
Distance will not play a factor, Jones said, noting that he’ll take his official visits with him parents.
“We made the decision awhile back that distance would not play a factor,” he said. “It would be made strictly on the school shaped up in academics and football. On the football side, how I would fit into the scheme.”
Jones gives a lot of credit to others for his development.
“Big time credit to the coaching staff for calling the plays, my quarterback for delivering me the ball, the offensive line for holding up and the other receivers for running their routes — them running their routes helped me get open plenty of times,” he said. “I’m just glad about how things worked out.”
His tape speaks for itself, but Jones believes his versatility is perhaps his greatest asset.
“I’m able to use my hands. I’m not really a body catcher. I know when I need to use my body to catch, but I like using my hands. I’m good at going up and high-pointing the ball, and changing direction,” he said. “With many bigger receivers, the change of direction is usually slow. My change of direction is strong, and I like running a variety of routes. Versatility is my biggest strength.”
Getting bigger and stronger is an off-season goal for the 6-foot-4 prospect.
“I have a super-long way to go in all aspects of my game. They all need major improvement,” Jones said. “My goal is that I’m weighing in at 190 right now, and I’m trying to get over the 200 mark. I also want to get my feet quicker and work on my hips.”
Jones plans to take two official visits in January. He’ll visit the Deacs on the 20th, but is still unsure where he’ll be on the 27th.
“Still praying on it and still deciding,” he said. “I’m planning on making my decision after that weekend of the 27th.
“I can’t wait to get to the next level and helping that team win. I’m a competitor and love to win. I’m looking to become a better man, and I know this decision will be for a lifetime.”