Star Lineman Still Considering Wisconsin

Richards (IL) offensive lineman Mike Jones has set three official visits, and Wisconsin is not one of them. But Jones said Tuesday night, the Badgers are still alive.

Recruiting isn't exactly on the forefront of Mike Jones' mind right now. His team, Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Ill., is heading towards the state playoffs with increasing momentum.

"We're 9-0, and we just beat a team that was 8-0 for the conference championship," Jones said. "We're on track for a state title right now."

But Jones has set three official visits, the latest of which is a trip to Notre Dame Dec. 6. The 6-5, 307-pound offensive lineman will also visit Michigan and Tennessee in January. He is still considering Wisconsin for one of his two final official visits, along with Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Miami and Penn State.

Jones visited the Badgers unofficially last July.

"It was a really great visit," Jones said. "I got to meet with a lot of staff around there, but Offensive Line (Coach Jim Hueber) wasn't around. I do like their facilities and right now, they are not doing great, but they're a program that could definitely turn it around."

Jones, who plans to major in education, said his official visits will go a long way towards deciding where he will make a commitment.

"I will be looking for a good feeling about the program in general, from the strength coaches, the position coaches, the players I will be around with for a while and just the school in general," Jones said. "How will I fit in with all of that? As far as deciding who to visit, one of the factors that will go into it is, how hard is the school really recruiting me? Do I think their program is going anywhere? And do I think that program can take me to the next level?"

One of the nation's top offensive line prospects, Jones is a player the Badgers have recruited heavily from day one. Jones has the power, size and speed to make a big impact at the college level.

"What a lot of coaches like about me is I'm aggressive and I play to the whistle," Jones said. "If we're beating a team 40-0, I'm still playing hard and still playing aggressive."

With at least two of his official visits scheduled for January, Jones' decision is likely to come down to the wire.

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