football

Jones prepares for commitment

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The long-awaited decision from Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle offensive tackle Jamarco Jones will be revealed Thursday. On Monday, the Rivals100 prospect broke down his final three schools and set the stage for his announcement.
Jones narrowed his list to three schools this month - Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. He has a 1 p.m. CT press conference set for Thursday at his high school to reveal his choice.
"It's tough picking between these schools, but I am ready to get this over with and go back to being a normal kid," Jones said. "It was made a little easier once I decided to stay in the Midwest."
Jones prepared for this decision by making a final visit to each school from June 15 to June 17. He stopped first at Michigan, spending the day and staying overnight on campus in Ann Arbor.
"I just wanted to get around the players a little bit more, get a feel for them and their thoughts on the program," Jones said. "I stayed with freshman tight end A.J. Williams, and we were with mostly the upperclassmen. I got to meet with the coaching staff for quite some time and talked with them to see what their visions are."
After leaving Michigan, Jones made the hour drive to Michigan State's campus in East Lansing, where he met up with fellow Chicago-area recruits.
"I got to spend a lot of time with the other commits because there was a camp and they all came down for the camp. There were a bunch of Chicago kids there - Enoch [Smith], Chase [Gianacakos], Tommy Mister and some kids from Mount Carmel. It was good being around the other commits, seeing what type of guys they are and how much they want to win.
"Then, I was talking with Coach D (Mark Dantonio) and Coach (Mark) Staten to get a real sense of what they want to do with the program. I know they had a down year last year, but they are great coaches and I am positive that they are going to have a much better year this year."
Jones finished his three-school tour with a final stop at Ohio State, where he also had a chance to spend the night on campus.
"I got to sit down and talk with the coaching staff and see how their offense translates to the NFL," Jones said. "It was good getting to sit down with the coaches and have conversations with them.
"Then I spent a night with the players. I got to spend it with the incoming freshmen who just got there, and I thought that was really good. They just got on campus, so I got their true insight on what it has been like for the first few days because as a freshman you go through growing pains moving away from home. I was with Jayme Thompson and Jalin Marshall."
The visits helped crystallize in Jones' mind what stands out about each of his final three schools, and he broke that down heading into his decision.
"With Michigan, of course their academics are second to none besides Ivy League schools," Jones said. "Then, Coach (Brady) Hoke is a great guy and I really liked when I visited there.
"At Michigan State, I know a lot of the commits there. I have (visited) multiple times and really got to know Coach Staten and Coach Dantonio, and I have a lot of faith in them that they are going to get things back on track this coming year and they can help me out as far as reaching my potential.
"The same thing goes for Ohio State. Coach (Urban) Meyer has a great track record, and they were 12-0 last year. Coach (Ed) Warinner has produced many offensive linemen. He turned a tight end into an offensive tackle who got drafted last year, so that shows what kind of offensive line coach he is."
Whichever of the three schools the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Jones commits to on Thursday will be getting the nation's No. 97 overall prospect in the 2014 class, the No. 13 offensive tackle and the No. 3 player in the state of Illinois.
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