Four-star Homestead (Fla.) South Dade running back Charlie Jones says he’s narrowed his list to five schools entering his senior season.
“I’ve decided on five schools that I’m going to focus on,” he said. “I’ve got Miami, Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Tennessee – in that order.”
Jones (5-11, 195, 4.45) is a member of the Rivals100 Team and rated the No. 4 running back in the Class of 2004. As a junior, he rushed for 1,570 yards and 19 touchdowns to earn first-team All-Dade honors and second-team all-state honors. He holds the Dade County single-game rushing record of 348 yards.
In addition to the five schools on his current list, he had also received offers from Auburn, Florida State, Kansas State and Stanford among a host of others.
Asked what he liked about the five favorites, Jones offered the following:
“Miami has been my favorite for a while. I’ve always wanted to be a Cane. They’re right here where my parents can see me, and they run an offense similar to the one we use at our school. I’ve thought about committing a couple of times. I’ve been pretty close, but I still like these other schools, too. I don’t want to lose my chance, though. They’ve already got a commitment from Bobby Washington, and they told me at camp they’re only going to sign two or three running backs. If someone else committed soon, I’d have to make a pretty tough decision.
“Florida is a school that’s also close to home, so that’s good for my parents. I like the variety in their offense and the different ways they find to get their backs the ball. It would be kind of strange being a Gator since I’ve always been a Cane fan, but it may be a better situation, so I need to keep that option open.
“The other three schools are on there because I want to keep an open mind. Part of me wants to get out and experience a different part of the country. Like I said, I’d like to be close to my parents, but they’ll support whatever decision I make.
“With Ohio State, I like the way they build their O-Line up and use the running game first and foremost. They always have great running backs.
“With Notre Dame, I like the tradition and their coaching staff. I also like the fact that, if for some reason football doesn’t work out, you get a great education and they take care of their players for the rest of their lives.
“With Tennessee, it’s kind of like Ohio State. They always have a real strong O-Line, and they like to use their backs a lot.”
In addition to his strong performance on the field, Jones is also a fine student. He maintains a 3.1 GPA and has scored an 860 on his first SAT attempt. Although he already projects as a qualifier, he’ll take the test again in an effort to achieve a higher score.