Defensive End Bobby Jones May Rule the North

It has been quite a few years since North Dakota State College of Science had a prospect like defensive end Bobby Jones. The school's website lists DL Mike Harris (2000) as the last D1A signee. Two have gone 1AA since 2001, including RB Terrance Freeney, who signed with N. Iowa (2001) and could get an NFL shot based on his performance there. Heading into the '04 season NDSCS can tout a legit D1A prospect. The 6-5, 275-pound Jones is the real deal.

At Yankton High School in Yankton, South Dakota, Jones recorded 56 tackles, 10 sacks, 2 interceptions (1 TD), and 17 tackles for loss. In addition to being named a first team All-State defensive end after his senior season in 2002, Jones earned many other accolades:

  • South Dakota's Outstanding Lineman of the Year
  • Honorable Mention All-Conference Offense
  • Argus Leader Elite 45 – 2002 Sioux Falls, SD Newspaper
  • Outstanding lineman of championship game (2002)

His performance helped Yankton to a state title in 2002.

The coaches at NDSCS were excited to get Jones on board for their 2003 campaign. In 7 games he recorded 38 tackles, 5 sacks, 8 pass break ups, 1 interception, 9 tackles for loss, and 10 quarterback hurries. Jones was named to the All-Region team based on the strong performance.

Four-year programs in the region -- and as far away as Oregon -- have taken an interest in Jones.

"Bobby has received a verbal and written offer from the University of Cincinnati. He has an official visit to Michigan State set for next November 5, and is being pursued by Oregon, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Kansas State, Minnesota, Florida, Iowa, and many others. Schools that came to visit NDSCS in May were Michigan State, Oregon, Texas A&M, Minnesota, Cincinnati and East Carolina," said assistant coach Mike Shafer. "A lot of the visiting coaches said that they new Jones was big on film, but catching a glimpse of him in person was different. They couldn't believe how big he is."

"Bobby is a difference maker. Smart. Coachable. He's very instinctive, very quick, and has a nose for the football. Bobby matured at a very fast rate from the beginning of the 2003 season to the end. He will be a force in the 2004 football season," added Shafer.

So the cat's out of the bag on Jones. It looks like four-year coaches will have to add North Dakota to their recruiting map in 2004.

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