November 9, 2011

Flashes in early on Jones

Though most of the recruiting focus for the Kent State staff is on completing the 2012 class, there are some juniors throughout the state of Ohio that are emerging as early targets. One such player that falls into that category is Reynoldsburg defensive tackle Jeff Jones. The 6-foot, 270-pound prospect just completed a strong junior season in which he was named a second team all-conference selection.

"It was real exciting," said Jones of his junior season. "We had been 12-38 the past five years. This year coach (Buddy) White came in and changed the attitude and everybody worked hard for him. We had a great mindset, it was just called 'believe'. Everything we did, we just said that we believed. We went 6-4 and even though we didn't make the playoffs, we can tell that the community is backing us and we're just excited to come back next year with seven starters back on offense and seven starters back on defense."

Jones was a recent visitor at Kent State as he watched the Flashes get a big win over Bowling Green two weeks ago.

"I went and watched Kent State against Bowling Green," he said. "It was great. All of the fans that were there were backing the team and the coaches seemed to care a lot about the recruits. I watched their D-line work with their D-line coach (Brian George) and I liked him a lot."

The Flashes struck gold at Reynoldsburg in the 2010 class when they signed Roosevelt Nix out of the program. Jones and Nix are close friends and Nix is a player that Jones has looked up to throughout his development.

"I talk to him a lot, I call him my big brother," Jones said. "He told me last year in the off-season when we got coach White (at Reynoldsburg) to just stay focused and that what I did in the off-season was going to carry over into the season. I watch every single game he plays and he's like an inspiration to me."

For Jones, watching Nix dominate the MAC as a freshman last season was a special feeling.

"It was crazy," he said. "It's like he was just at Reynoldsburg and then I'm watching him start at Kent State and getting MAC defensive player of the year. It was just cool because he's just a normal person just like us and I talk to him all the time so it was cool to see him do what he was doing."

Jones is already hearing from a handful of college programs and should start to pick up more interest once his junior film is out.

"Syracuse, Kent State, Western Kentucky, Penn State sent me a hand-written letter about a month ago and Michigan State has been sending me stuff," Jones said, of the schools that are recruiting him the hardest.

Since the spring, Jones has been out on unofficial visits to Western Kentucky, Ohio U., Kent State, and Virginia Tech. This coming weekend, Jones plans to be down in Cincinnati as the Bearcats host West Virginia.

"I love Cincinnati's campus," he said. "I went there for a track meet my freshman year and we got to watch the football team practice. I said after that that I loved that school and I went there over the summer and did well at their camp. I really like their coach and I like the people in Cincinnati. I have family down in Cincinnati and I like it there a lot."

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