Purdue has always been able to recruit the Chicago area well, and a number of their top contributors on this year's team are from the Windy City. On Saturday they were working on the next group of Chicago area products, with 2014 offensive lineman Jamarco Jones among their recruiting visitors.
"They have some pretty good fans down there," Jones said after the visit. "The weather wasn't that great so it wasn't completely filled, but we got a chance to get a feel for the fans. The coaching staff was really pushing the players all the way to the end."
The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Jones hails from De La Salle High School in Chicago and already holds an offer from Purdue. He was accompanied down to Purdue by his teammate, 2014 running back Mikale Wilbon, who also has been offered by the Boilermakers. Other Chicago area recruits in West Lafayette on Saturday included Hinsdale (Ill.) Central tight end Ian Bunting.
"I was able to talk with Ian," Jones said. "We had met each other a few times before and work out at the same place. We were talking for a little bit about the school and our plans."
The trip to West Lafayette was Jones' first of the season. He came away impressed with several aspects of the school.
"They have a great academic program there. They have been rebuilding a little bit in the past, but they have been doing a pretty good job. They played some teams close this year like Notre Dame and Ohio State, so they are on their way up. And they have a few Chicago guys down there I have known about the past few years.
Prior to the Purdue trip, Jones had made game visits this fall to Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin. He is looking to attend a game at Illinois this upcoming weekend and also has plans to see Notre Dame on Nov. 17. These trips have helped lend clarity to a very quick-developing recruiting process.
"At the beginning it is kind of new and there's a lot of schools," Jones said. "But [the trips] help me learn what I am looking for in a school and what I like about different schools.
"I am starting to realize more and more what I am looking for when I got to difference campuses for games. Just the way coaches and players react to each other on the sidelines, the environment helps and the fans. Those are pretty much the main things I am watching at the games."
Ole Miss is the most recent school to offer Jones, bringing his total number of scholarship offers to 14.