Walled Lake (Mich.) Western safety Joshua Jones made a commitment to Illinois in the summer, but continued to draw interest from new schools after a standout senior campaign. On Thursday, he decided to part ways with the Illini and is looking at three new schools.
"I decommitted from Illinois today," Jones reported. "I had a two-hour conversation with Coach [Tim] Beckman and Coach [Tim] Banks today. They came to school and to my house.
"They weren't too happy about the whole visit thing. So, out of respect for them, I told Coach Beckman about 30 minutes ago it would be best for me to decommit and take the rest of my visits."
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Jones, a 6-foot-2, 202-pound three-star prospect, had already taken an official visit to Illinois back in December. This past weekend he was at Pittsburgh for an official visit and he has trips to Colorado and N.C. State scheduled for the next two weekends.
"I will be leaving for Colorado tomorrow," Jones said. "Then, next week it will be North Carolina State. And, I already took my official visit to Pittsburgh. I guess you could say those are my three schools."
N.C. State recently went through a coaching change, and the new staff in Raleigh is one he was familiar with from their previous positions at Midwest schools.
"Coach [Eddie] Faulkner was at NIU for a minute and then he went to Wisconsin and recruited me for a little bit when he was at Wisconsin," Jones said. "He came in a couple days ago and I am actually looking forward to beautiful North Carolina. It would be a challenging place to be at and play at, but I am looking forward to the challenge if it comes down to it."
Coincidentally, Jones' connection at Colorado is a coach who was previously recruited him when he was with the staff at N.C. State.
"Coach Troy Walters, when he took the job at Colorado he reached out to me about three weeks ago and asked me would I be interested in coming out," Jones said. "I have never seen the west side of the country before, so it will be a fun experience. I am open to it. My whole thing is, I just want to play ball whether that is Pac-12, ACC or Big Ten."
In the aftermath of Jones' decommitment from Illinois, Pittsburgh now sits in a strong position because of the impression they made on the three-star safety this past weekend.
"They impressed me," Jones said. "Pittsburgh is a unique city and the coaching staff made me feel wanted. They have been after me since the summertime, so we'll see what happens."
Jones had previously planned to take an official visit to Michigan State this coming weekend, but has decided to play college football outside the state of Michigan and relayed that to the Spartan's coaching staff.