I will let you know after I see how many are going to commit to UT. If we gets lots of '22 then it is definitely a better class. If we don't get very many '22 then it's a garbage class and we didn't want any of them. That's the only logic that works in a situation like this. Science!
The four-star Class of 2022 athlete from Germantown (Tenn.) High School, who has received offers from at least 17 schools, said Tennessee is one of at least a few schools already standing out to him, along with Florida State, Auburn and Georgia Tech, and he’s hoping to visit the Vols again as early as this season.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Jones said all four programs “are on me real hard,” and Tennessee and Florida State in particular have been in frequent contact with him. “I talk to Tennessee and Florida State two times a week — sometimes three,” said Jones, who’s ranked the No. 255 overall prospect and No. 14 athlete in the 2022 class and the No. 5 rising junior from Tennessee, according to the industry-generated 247Sports Composite.
Jones visited Tennessee twice last year, most recently attending the Vols’ home game Sept. 14 against Chattanooga, and he said his contact with Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt’s staff has increased over “probably the last three months.”
“It picked up a lot lately,” he said. “I mean, I was still in touch with them (before). But, over time, it just got stronger. …“Right now, Tennessee, they’re really high in my recruitment. I’ve got a good relationship with the coaches. Coach Pruitt, he makes sure they talk on the phone with me every now and then, just so we can get word in and keep up with each other. And they’re making me feel wanted right now.”
Pruitt, Tennessee defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley, wide receivers coach Tee Martin and defensive graduate assistant MaLeik Gatewood have continued to talk with Jones, who played at Fairley High School in Memphis, Tenn., before moving to Germantown earlier this year.
“Basically, they like my play style,” Jones said. “I can play both sides of the ball. Coach Pruitt, he asked me which side (I want to play), because he said he don’t care if I play offense or defense. But he told me that he’s more of a defensive coach, and I told him that defense is where you get your money at, and he liked that. “He said he loved me for defense.”
Jones said the Vols have told him they envision him playing cornerback if he ends up on defense. On offense, he said he likely projects as a “running back/slot type.” He said he has been timed at 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
Jones, a junior at Germantown (Tenn.) High School, said Tennessee was one of the first schools to contact him early Tuesday morning, with multiple members of the Vols' staff sending him messages.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Jones said he first heard from Pruitt and defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley, and defensive graduate assistant Nate Andrews, wide receivers coach Tee Martin and defensive quality control analyst Jeremiah Wilson later reached out to him.
"Coach Ansley was the first from Tennessee," Jones said. "We always talk, but they were saying they really need me and would love to have me, and I'm one of their top priorities."
He said Penn State was the first team that sent him a message, while Texas A&M, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Cincinnati, South Carolina, Clemson and "a lot more" also made early contact with him.
Tennessee gave Jones his first offer in October. He's now being pursued by almost 20 schools. He's ranked the No. 275 overall prospect and No. 14 athlete in the 2022 class and the No. 8 junior from the state of Tennessee, according to the 247Sports Composite.