LB, 6'2, 218 LBS, ESPN Scouts, Inc Grade = 76
FR, Chandler, Arizona (Hamilton HS)
The top linebacker in the state of Arizona and an aggressive, physical playmaker from sideline to sideline, should fit right in and compete on special teams if he isn't redshirted. A product of one of Arizona's powerhouse prep football programs that has produced several excellent Sun Devils. One of 9 Hamilton players to have signed with ASU since 2004. Attended the same high school as current Sun Devils Patrick Jamison, Gerald Munns, Colin Parker, Gerell Robinson and Kerry Taylor as well as former ASU All-American and current NFL Pro Bowler Terrell Suggs.
An intense athlete and a hard hitter, ESPN writes, "Give Jones a red-shirt year to develop physically and polish up his linebacker fundamentals and you will land yourself one heck of an outside linebacker who is currently sliding under the radar on the recruiting trail. Size may be deterring some schools but he is tall, rangy and well-defined. Could potentially add another 20-25 pounds of lean bulk to his long frame while retaining speed and athleticism. Well-rounded linebacker who is very active on film and seems to consistently be around the football making plays. Covers a lot ground with his long stride and provides good range on both run and pass support. Shows above average speed chasing to the sideline and good burst closing in space. Effectively breaks down in space and is a strong, solid tackler. Runs and pursues well laterally; overall a very fluid, mobile linebacker prospect. Despite lacking ideal size, he sifts well through traffic and keeps defenders off his body. Effective blitzer with his good first-step quickness and burst. Best attribute as an LB may be his pass coverage skills. Opens and turns fluidly and gets good depth in his drop. Soundly reads the quarterback, underneath routes and does a great job pattern matching. While a well-rounded LB, he lacks ideal measurables and skill in one particularly area when projecting for the next level. Steps up hard and fast between the tackles but could struggle holding his base at the point of attack and disengaging bigger linemen against the run; needs to work on hand technique getting over blocks. Good speed but not great for a 200-pound linebacker, often masked by his great energy and motor pursuing the football. Can overrun the play at times and struggle recovering sharply. Bottom line, Jones can run, hit, cover and has great room for continued physical development. Good under-the-radar prospect."
Earned Second-Team All-5A honors in 2008 by the Arizona Republic. Regarded as the No. 30 Outside Linebacker prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. Also considered the top linebacker and No. 8 overall recruit in the state of Arizona by Rivals.com. Rated the No. 32 linebacker recruit in the country by Scout.com and listed by them in the 2008 preseason as the top linebacker in the state of Arizona. Was named to the Friday Night Heroes list by Phoenix Metro football Magazine.
High School Career
Was a teammate of Jamison and Robinson on Hamilton's 2007 squad, he helped lead Hamilton's defense to their 2008 5A-I state championship run. Coached by Steve Belles at Hamilton High School.
78 tackles (24 solo) 3 sacks and 1 INT as a senior. Posted at least 7 tackles in 6 games on the year. Tallied a season-high 13 tackles (5 solo), an INT he returned 82 yards, and 1 sack against rival Chandler High School on Nov. 7, 2008. Collected 10 total tackles (6 solo) against eventual 5A-II state champion Peoria Centennial High School on Sept. 12.
Led Hamilton with 94 total tackles (25 solo), 6 sacks, 1 INT, and 1 FR. Averaged 9.4 tackles-per-game. Posted at least 7 tackles in 9/10 games on the year and surpassed 10 total stops in 6 games. Set a career-high with 13 tackles (4 solo) against Red Mountain on Sept. 20, 2007. Tied that mark with 13 tackles (2 solo) with 1 sack against Gilbert on Oct 5, 2007.
Chose ASU over Arizona, Minnesota and Washington State.