May 27, 2010
Tide leads for MS lineman
The Alabama Crimson Tide have spent the last few years stockpiling talent along the defensive front and the Class of 2011 looks to be no exception with several elite linemen already committed to the Tide. One emerging name in the Southeast is Tupelo (MS) defensive tackle P.J. Jones, who currently holds offers from Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State among others. Jones has seen his stock continue to rise after a productive spring both on the practice field and in the classroom.
"The last few weeks I've been doing a lot of running and trying to stay healthy but I've mostly been focused on school and finishing the year out strong. I feel like I took care of business this year in the classroom and really set myself up well for my senior year. I'm going to be really focused on keep my grades where they need to be next year so I can be sure that nothing will stop me from becoming a student athlete at the college level."
At 6-foot-3, 260-pounds and growing, Jones could project at either defensive tackle or defensive end at the college level and said the Crimson Tide have been particularly high on him as a prospect for their defensive front.
"I talk to Coach (Bo) Davis a good bit at Alabama. He's a great defensive line coach and he really knows the position. We have a really great connection and I always feel really at ease when I talk to him. Alabama thinks I have the potential develop into a really great player and if I went there I would probably have to redshirt and put some weight on before I was ready to contribute. I'm OK with that though because I know that no matter where I go, I'm going to need to learn and develop and become a better player."
Particularly attractive to Jones is the 3-4 defensive style the Tide has come to be known for under head coach Nick Saban over the past three seasons.
"I love watching Alabama play defense. They attack the ball and they play with amazing effort on every snap. Everything their coaches and players do is about being intense and focused. Those guys all know what they are doing and they take what they do seriously. Alabama's defense gets you ready to play in the pros and that's why Alabama's had so many guys get drafted the last few years."
Jones plans on taking his time with the recruiting process with a few unofficial visits planned for the summer, and said how teams perform in the upcoming season will likely have an influence on his ultimate decision.
"I will be at Alabama's camp on June 6 and I will also probably go to camps at Mississippi State and Ole Miss this summer. Right now, Alabama is my favorite but I definitely won't be making any decisions before the season is over this fall. I think it's important to see how everyone's seasons go and where all these programs are headed in the future before I decide where to go. I just feel like that's the smart thing to do. This way, I will be able to stay focused on my senior season and then when it's over, I'll know a lot more about all the schools that have offered me before I actually make my decision."
Jones boasts a 5.28 forty time, a 26-inch vertical leap and a 3.3 GPA in the classroom.
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