UP NEXT: 2010 Hillcrest S/ATH T.J. Jones

We continue to bring you the top prospects in the Palmetto State first and the next player to be featured in our "UP NEXT" series is 2010 Hillcrest ATH/S T.J. Jones. Blessed with 4.52 speed and a college ready frame at 5'10 180 pounds Jones is a player to keep a close eye on next season. We expect his name to be called early and often, so undoubtedly more schools will be calling too.

SCPrepNation.com sat in on Hillcrest High's spring practice and also their spring game this offseason. What we found was a fastly improving program and some tremendous prospects with plenty of potential. One of their most promising young players is 2010 S/ATH T.J. Jones. We caught up with Jones to introduce you to him in this installment of our "UP NEXT" series.

The first thing you notice about Jones is his size. Most 2010 prospects have some muscle mass but this young man has obviously spent hours and hours in the weight room to work on his frame. At a strong 5'10 180 pounds he's already ahead of the game physically but also more than likely will continue to grow. That strength also translates to explosiveness as well. Jones reports a 4.52 second 40 time as his fastest. He also bench presses 295 pounds, squats 425 pounds, and reports a 40 inch vertical.

Two schools have already made Jones a priority with tons of mail and interest early in the process. "South Carolina and Maryland have been on me pretty hard with a lot of mail. I'd like to hear from Georgia too but I haven't yet."

Last season Jones was all over the field for the Rams playing as a safety, quarterback, and wide receiver. He recalled his statistics for us on the offensive side of the ball. "I had 891 rushing yards with 4 touchdowns and I had 875 yards passing with 4 passing touchdowns." Jones says the game that he felt was his most outstanding was a matchup against a region opponent. "The T.L. Hanna game was my best I think. I had 190 yards passing and 98 rushing yards. It was a tough game because we lost with 10 seconds to go in the game on a slant pass."

There were other bright spots along the way for Jones and his Rams teammates. One vivid memory was of who Jones called his toughest opponent. "Yeah the toughest guy I faced last year is definitely Everett Dawkins the defensive end from Byrnes. My offensive linemen had a hard time blocking him all night. He's so strong and very fast too. He ran through them like water."

Although it is still fairly early in the recruiting process for the 2010 prospect he already has a strong grasp on what will be the biggest factors for him in choosing a college. "It will have to be getting a good education. If possible I'd like to stay close to home for school. At the same time I'm not gonna shut out any school that wants to recruit me because of how far they are from here, so I don't want coaches to think I won't strongly consider them based on location. Education is going to be the biggest thing for me in the end though." Jones carries a 3.2 overall GPA in the classroom.

Like last season you can expect more of Jones lining up all over the field when next season arrives. The Rams have improved from a year ago and under the guidance of coach Andy Hallman the program is definitely on the rise. With some schools already aware of his potential on the next level Jones is looking forward to helping the Rams make a positive statement next season.

SCPrepNation.com will continue to bring you the very best recruiting news when it comes to South Carolina's very best high school football and basketball prospects like T.J. Jones so keep us bookmarked. We're the new #1 source for all your SC recruiting information!!!

A Closer Look At...T.J. Jones
Favorite music artists: Plies and Usher
Favorite movie: Hancock
Favorite food: chicken casserole
Favorite subject in school: english
Favorite football player: Michael Vick
Dream School: South Carolina

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