football

LB Jones keeping an open mind

Walker jones 200 10 11
Walker Jones might have two older brothers -- Barrett and Harrison Jones --playing at Alabama, but the three-star rising senior linebacker from Tennessee's Evangelical Christian School insists he is no lock to land in Tuscaloosa.
And that is exactly what he tells the colleges recruiting him.
"I wouldn't want someone to waste my time if I knew they were going somewhere else," Jones said. "I try to be honest with them. I really am open."
To date, the 6-feet-3, 235-pounder holds double-digit offers. They've come from Alabama, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
"I've also been talking to a few more schools a lot," Jones said. "I've talked to both Ohio State and Stanford a bunch. They want me to get there for a visit. It's hard, though. Those are both flights as opposed to drives."
Jones isn't ready to name a leader or leaders yet.
But … "I'm hoping to do that soon," he said.
Asked which schools were recruiting him the hardest, Jones replied, "Probably Alabama, Vandy, Tennessee, Mississippi State and Arkansas. Those are the coaches I talk to the most. I'm pretty much in daily contact with all of them."
Some schools like Jones at inside linebacker. Others want him on the outside. A few have even said he could be utilized as a tight end or fullback.
"I see myself as a linebacker right now," Jones said. "But if I go to a school and they switch me to offense, I'd be glad to do it."
Thus far, Jones has visited Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
"They were all incredible," Jones said. "I really liked all of them more than I thought I would. But the coaches wouldn't get hired if they couldn't get you to like a school. They're all great recruiters."
Having brothers who went through the same process has helped, Jones said.
"It prepared me a lot," Jones said. "It helped me know what to expect. I got to see some places before they started recruiting me."
Jones, who registered 95 tackles in 2011, likely will take additional visits this summer. But as of yet, he hasn't mapped things out.
Keith Niebuhr can be reached at Keithrivals@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @KeithRIVALS.
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