Jones Journeys Back to Wisconsin

While Wisconsin hosted many local prospects last weekend for the school's junior day, Belleview (Fla.) offensive tackle Ben Jones was happy to make the trip back to his home state to see what his favorite program had to offer.

Hosting a number of junior prospects last weekend, the University of Wisconsin got a number of interested visitors who drove anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to spend the afternoon watching practice, meeting the coaches and touring the new facilities.

In the case of Ben Jones, the Badgers got someone who drove 18 hours just to spend some time with them.

Originally from Wisconsin, Jones – a 6-6, 250-pound offensive lineman from Belleview (Fla.) - played junior football in Lake Country with Hartland Arrowhead standouts George Panos, Sam Seonbuchner and Matt Seitz. The group talked about playing high school football together, but those thoughts ended when he was 12 years old and moved to Florida because of his dad's job.

"I've been wanting to get up to Wisconsin ever since really," Jones told Badger Nation. "It's been a dream of mine to be recruited by Wisconsin ever since I knew what football was. Wisconsin has always been my favorite school."

Emailing back and forth with recruiting coordinator Vince Guinta, those conversations led to letters and an invite up to Wisconsin for junior day. After not visiting his home state in over 18 months, Jones and his family piling in the car and made the drive specifically to see what the Badgers had to offer. It was well worth it.

"They have a real strong academic program and overall they've always been a good school with good coaching," said Jones. "Talking to the coaching staff at junior day, they seem like good guys and will give you whatever you need to make sure you succeed in life, even after football. Just the way they were talking to the group made me decide that they were worth the drive."

In addition to Wisconsin, Jones visited Auburn and UCF two weeks ago and made a stop at Memphis on the drive to Madison. Jones also has plans to visit South Florida for the school's spring game this weekend.

The interest from the Florida schools increased after attending the Nike Football Training Camp in Miami March 17.

"I'll definitely be coming to Wisconsin for a camp over the summer," said Jones. "I'll probably throw in a couple other camps as well."

Having played at both tackle and both guard positions in high school, Jones points to his versatility as his biggest advantage and will spend the next several weeks before camps start improving his strength and size.

"That's the biggest area I need to improve in my game," he said. "We have a thing at our school where we come in two hours before school and lift weights and run. That'll keep us in shape and gain our strength."


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