Carolina High School enjoyed one of their finest seasons on the gridiron last season. They had playmakers all over the field and their team pulled together when it mattered most making a deep run in the AA playoffs. One of their top prospects is 2013 defensive tackle D.J. Jones. The 6'1 288 pound prospect had a monstrous junior campaign and tore it up recently at a Nike Combine in Charlotte where he ranked #10 overall out of more than 1,300+ prospects. That's why he's "UP NEXT" with SCPrepNation.com.
Having scored so well at the Nike event in Charlotte many folks were calling him a sleeper afterwards. Jones was a known commodity here in the Upstate of South Carolina having won numerous region awards and being named an All-County selection. Was he surprised though with his performance in Charlotte?
"No, because at Carolina we do some of the same training as at the combine every day."
Although the 2013 prospect was one of the top scorers (91.29 SPARQ ) in attendance Jones said that he didn't train for the event. In fact, Jones had no intentions of going to Charlotte initially.
"Not at all. The trip my parents and I made to Charlotte was a very last minute thing."
This is where things get interesting. Not only did he score as the #10 overall prospect at the event but he had the top powerball throw at 43.5 feet. You see Jones had a huge junior season. He won the aforementioned awards and helped Carolina make a deep run into the AA playoffs. Jones talked about his ridiculous stats from this year.
"This year I had 129 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 1 interception, 3 touchdowns, and 8 forced fumbles."
Given his body of work and having scored so high at the Nike Combine Jones has not heard from any schools at this point. That all will change after his showing though and once we help his film to circulate though.
Having enjoyed a big junior season Jones talked with us about his best game from this year.
"My best game was against Columbia. In the game I had 13 tackles, 3 sacks, and 5 tackles for loss. The game was memorable for my team and I because we went out with a bang!"
The 2013 prospect knows where his bread and butter is on the field already too. He expounded where his strengths are currently and what areas of his game he wants to continue to make improvements in.
"Right now I would have to say my speed, awareness, and my will to make a play are my biggest strengths. As for making improvements I would like most to improve on my agility and leadership."
Jones said his goal for the Trojans as a team next season is to win the region and state championship. He also told us what he'd like to accomplish on a personal level next season.
"I would like to exceed in my stats in tackles, touchdowns, and everything really! Plus, I would like to hear from more schools."
The Carolina High standout says that atmosphere and location will play a big role in his decision making process for college.
SCPrepNation.com will keep you posted with D.J. Jones' recruitment as we expect things to take off in a big way for him after his showing in Charlotte. Be sure to stay tuned for his junior season highlights as well later on this week.
Bench press: 385 pounds
Squat: 550 pounds
Power clean: 300 pounds
Fastest 40 time: 4.9 seconds
Pro shuttle: 5.03 seconds
Favorite food: chicken strips
Favorite movie: I Am Legend
Favorite music artist: 2 Chainz
Favorite subject in school: english
Favorite football player: DeMarcus Ware
Favorite college team: Clemson
One thing about you most people would be surprised to know: I grew up around the Dallas Cowboys organization.