DALLAS - It didn't take long for offers to start coming for one of the top defensive players in the state of Texas, outside linebacker Richetti Jones. The Big 12 jumped in early on this Metroplex star and it looks like he could be adding several more before even his junior year comes to an end.
Lincoln High School coach Jerry Sands calls him not only a good football player, but the ideal student athlete who shines in the classroom and on the field. His defensive coach calls him one of the best that have ever walked the halls there. Jones just wants people to know that he is not short of confidence about his abilities.
"It's about a mindset that you have to have," Jones said about his playing style. "I feel I'm one of the best, even if I wasn't nationally recognized. When I'm out there, I'm ready to ball. That's all there is too it. If you have your mind right, you can do anything."
Jones, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker sees himself either at that position or even on the defensive end in college. Coach Sands says he could play a lot of different positions.
"Well, we knew as a freshman you could see the explosiveness," Sands said about Jones' abilities. "He was a tall slender kid that was explosive and was not afraid to hit. That spring his freshman year he matured to the starter. We had to get him in the game even when his technique wasn't up there yet."
"He's very special."
Colleges agree because Texas A&M and Oklahoma State have both offered Jones. He likes what he sees so far from the first two scholarships he has grabbed.
"I can deal with this kind of thing," Jones said with a laugh. "I like both of them. I have a few of my friends going to Oklahoma State. Texas A&M is a great school too. It's a nice start."
It is just the start. His father and him will start to pursue the recruiting process more heavily when the spring starts. Right now, Jones explained that he wants to keep his mind focused on the season.
However, he cannot ignore the talk that he's one of the top players both in the state and in the nation.
"If that's how everyone feels, then that's a huge deal to me," Jones said. "Even if I wasn't recognized, I'd still feel that I'm one of the best. If you tell me I'm this or that in the state, then I love it."
One thing that will carry Jones far, according to coach Sands, is the great environment that his star player has grown up in.
"His father is a great big part of his life and you can see just how he's been raised," Sands said. "He will take things slow and play it out because he is patient and wants to look at every option before deciding on college."
Jones is rated as a member of the Class of 2007 100 to watch.