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I know we all hear rumors of late that make MSU fans feel better about Jones or worse about Jones. It will be that way until National Signing Day. But you guys have asked recently about my 'gut feeling' concerning how things turn out with Jones. So with that said, let's take a look at what we know.
Jones was long considered an MSU lock and from my first-ever interview with Jones, he stated he was an MSU fan and that was before he got offered. He quickly jumped on MSU's offer and committed not long after MSU had scouted him last spring. Jones was then at numerous MSU games this fall and also this fall, his climb up the national rankings ladder sped up at a quick pace.
People took notice of Jones half-way through his senior year and the attention grew. Once he was impressive at his all-star games (MS-ALA, UnderArmour), numerous offers poured in from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Ole MIss, Auburn, Tennessee, etc. One by one, Jones said thanks but no thanks and said he was going to MSU.
Then last week changed when Jones opted to visit Ole Miss. He had numerous Rebel recruits in his ear and that has been the case for the past couple of weeks. Judging from video and pics, it was obvious Jones had a great time at Ole Miss and no doubt he felt like a king. Yet we also know that Jones continues to tell the MSU coaches not to worry and that he is signing with MSU (I can't say for sure what he is telling the Ole Miss coaches). We know that Jones has gone from not having to deal with recruiting pressure to having it increased in a large way.
We know his mom wants him at MSU and his dad wants him at Ole Miss. That has to be incredible pressure for Jones and pressure few of us will ever know about. We know MSU and Ole Miss have inhome visits with Jones Saturday and that could be crucial for both sides. And let's be honest, the whole 'who sees him first or last' bit doesn't matter at all.
Why? Because those in the house first may choose to stay as long as possible or those in the house last may show up early. So it doesn't really matter. We also saw yesterday where Jones said he was planning to announce on National Signing Day. Common sense tells us why would a recruit who is committed to one school have to announce anything. Of course, Mark Dodson of Ole Miss did the same thing and stuck with the Rebels. But MSU fans are well aware of the history and past with these kind of things.
One thing I learned years ago with my job was to never get emotionally involved. I try to base my thoughts on recruits based on what we see and hear. But I am not going to paint a false picture if Jones ends up at Ole Miss. It would dictate how MSU fans feel about the Class of 2013, and more importantly, MSU would lose a guy they did such a great job of recruiting when nobody else gave him a second look. Also important if not the most important thing, Jones is a guy who would immediately be in the rotation at defensive end.
Naturally, Jones is the story right now and like any recruit dealing with MSU, we will continue to follow this craziness and talk with Jones and see what his thoughts are. This weekend will definitely be big on both sides.
So my gut feeling? Well, to be honest there is no middle ground here and I base my thoughts on Jones in just two areas. Either what he is telling the MSU coaches holds up and MSU is where he planned to be all along or he is just being nice to MSU right now and fully intends to flip to Ole Miss. I know what Jones has told me for months and months and all of those that have interviewed Jones see the same respectful kid that rarely says 'no' to interviews.
There is also going to be no middle ground on how either side reacts when Jones makes his decision. MSU fans will either praise him for sticking to his original plans or be highly upset if those plans change.
I do not think MSU or Ole Miss is confident in this situation, either, and no side will give up. I have seen a lot in my time in this business but never have I seen a kid go from doing one or two interviews a month to having one or two interview requests per hour.
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by Paul Jones 18 months ago
Signing Day... "...I have no plans other than punching every Ole Piss fan that crosses my path and says something smartass." pdub0351
"They call me crazy until they find out I'm right"
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