When coaches are fired, committed recruits are often the next out the door. If Notre Dame is to make a change at head coach, four-star wide receiver Tai-ler Jones is sticking with his pledge to Notre Dame.
"I would hate to see Coach Weis leave," Jones said. "I hope he is still there when I enroll. If he does leave, that will not change my commitment. I chose Notre Dame because of what the school offers both academically and athletically."
Though the Gainesville High School (Ga.) star said he is one hundred percent committed to the Irish, he did offer a scenario in which he would rethink his choice.
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"The only thing that would hold me back from going to Notre Dame would be if they brought in a wing-T offense like Georgia Tech or Navy," Jones said.
Jones shares the same view as the majority of Notre Dame's seventeen other commitments in this class of 2010. However, it is still a fairly unique perspective on a potential coaching change. For many prospects trying to make note of the differences between various schools, the relationships with the coaching staff, specifically the head coach their main recruiter, is the deciding factor for their commitment.
"The weight of the Notre Dame degree in the business world is important," Jones said. "It will open more doors, and give me more opportunities that other colleges would. Being a legacy kid, I will experience Notre Dame in a different way than other student athletes."
Tai-ler's father, Andre, played under Lou Holtz and was a member of Notre Dame's last national championship team in 1988.
"He just tells me that he is going to support me to any school I commit to," Tai-ler said. "He can point to the ins and outs of the recruiting process, and what to ask when I visit. But he is not forcing Notre Dame on me. I am going to Notre Dame on my own terms."
Jones has scholarship offers from across the country, including Stanford, where he first committed last spring. Jones said Stanford is the only school that has checked in with him the last couple of weeks.
However, Jones has put recruiting behind him. The only Notre Dame commit he has spoken to about the potential coaching change is Lo Wood.
"He just basically said the same thing. He is one hundred percent committed to Notre Dame, even with the possibility of a new coach."
Jones has other reasons to put recruiting behind him. His team is 12-0 and preparing for a quarterfinal showdown against Cairo in the Georgia 3A playoffs. So far, Jones has 55 catches for nearly 1200 yards and 16 touchdowns. Whatever coach Notre Dame hires, he hopes to have just as many opportunities to catch the ball.
"I would like to see them keep the same style of offense that they are running now," Jones said.