Colleges are looking for the next Charles Woodson type cornerback – the guy that has the size, the speed and coverage ability to simply shut down a receiver and take him out of the game. Many people across the nation think that Mobile (Ala.) McGill-Toolen cornerback Phelon Jones falls into that category.
After already establishing himself as one of the top defensive backs in the South, it's becoming clear that Jones is a truly national recruit and the offers continue to flow in from all over the place.
"Last week N.C. State, Oklahoma and Miami offered," said Jones, who is 6-foot and 185 pounds and runs a 4.38-second time in the 40-yard dash. "We talked to them a couple weeks ago and they sent written offers after watching my film. I was excited and a little surprised because Oklahoma and Miami don't come into Mobile to recruit very often.
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Jones' offer sheet now reads like a who's who of national programs. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, N.C. State and Miami are some of the teams that have already put their offer in writing. While it's still very early in the recruiting process, Jones hints that a few teams tend to stand out a little.
"I don't have an overall group of favorites yet but Michigan, Alabama, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Auburn and Miami are some that stand out," he said. "I'm going to make some unofficial visits this year to the schools that have offered, and I'm going to narrow down my list from there. I'm open to going anywhere."
Jones is a picky guy, and he plans on making his final decision after looking at a number of different important factors.
"I'm looking for a school that has good academics," he said. "I'm going to major in sports management, and I want them to have that and also tutors and help for the athletes. I'm also going to find out who has guys at my position and who doesn't. I want to play early if possible. I'm going to look at the depth charts and see where I fit in."
Jones received a 3.28 grade-point average on his last report card. He scored 18 on his first ACT attempt and needs one more core class to be fully eligible.