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Emory Jones is sick of being asked about his commitment
Thanks to the nonstop worrying about Ohio State commit Emory Jones, Ohio State commit Emory Jones continues to be talked about more than any other Buckeyes verbal.
It seems that Jones is tired of that discussion, but there’s no way to avoid it until he completely shuts down his recruitment and stops entertaining the notion of visiting other schools.
“I am sick of [having to talk about Ohio State],” Jones told USA Today High School Sports’ Cam Smith on Wednesday following his Under Armour All-America Game jersey presentation. “I’m committed. I’m still committed. That’s just it.”
Bama visit and others loom
But that’s not just it, and Jones knows that. Again, if he wanted that spotlight off of him, there’s a simple way to do that: Don’t take visits anywhere else and don’t talk about other schools. That said, it’s his recruitment and he’s welcome to handle it however he sees fit. Speaking with SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner, Jones said he’s not close to completely shutting down his recruitment. He said he will visit Alabama officially, and then seemed to indicate that other official visits will come after it, though he declined to name other schools.
“I’ll shut it down with the coaches at some point before I take all of my official visits,” he said. “I’ll tell [Ohio State] that there’s nothing to worry about just so they don’t go off and recruit other quarterbacks. I’m going to take one to Alabama. That’s the only one for sure that I have in mind right now.”
So why make other visits?
“Some of the visits are just for the experience,” Jones said. “Just to go there to say I did. Later in my life, I probably won’t have the chance to go visit different colleges and get the full experience. I didn’t get to visit a lot of places before I committed and I would like the chance to do so.”
So, besides Bama, who else is still working on Jones? There are a few schools, but the tone of his comments certainly underline the fact that right now there are just two teams that are seriously in the mix: Ohio State and Bama.
“Alabama,” he said when asked what schools other than Ohio State remain in the most steady contact. “Florida State some, but not much. Georgia is still in touch and I talk to Auburn some. It’s nothing big with FSU, Georgia and Auburn.”
But Bama is big. Ohio State is big. The 4-star prospect speaks regularly with Urban Meyer and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, each of whom are trying to impress upon him the importance of him locking down his recruitment completely.
What is Ohio State saying?
“I talked to Coach Day and Coach Meyer the most,” Jones told Kirschner. “They’re really just telling me that they want me to be their quarterback. They for sure want me there. They want me to tell them that I’m done taking visits, so they can get to work with me. They want me there right now.”
The Buckeyes have a few other quarterbacks on campus right now. Redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins saw the field for the first time in his career last weekend against Army. Haskins, redshirt sophomore Joe Burrow and freshman Tate Martell are all expected to be on the team when Jones is set to arrive next summer. If he’s concerned about a young guy leading the charge for Ohio State next season, and how it affects his playing time, he’s not showing it. If it’s Haskins, Burrow or Martell, Jones says his plan isn’t changing.
“I actually think it would help me, honestly,” Jones said of Haskins getting some reps now and putting himself in line to be the starter next season. “I am looking to redshirt, anyway. [Haskins] going in this year or next year, if he has two good years, he might decide to leave for the NFL [after 2018].”
On recruits talking about Ohio State quarterback situation
To be clear, Jones is not advocating for a quarterback change in Columbus.
“Man, J.T. [Barrett] is my guy,” the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Jones said. “I worked out one time with J.T. and he’s just crazy good with the way he throws the ball. He’s so smart in the game, too. He has invested so much in that offense and I think people forget that he’s had three offensive coordinators and three quarterback coaches since he’s been there. That messes with your mind a lot.”
Jones isn’t calling for a change to the Buckeyes offense, but he says he understands why uncommitted players may feel comfortable voicing their opinions on the matter.
“I really don’t think it’s a problem, that’s their opinion,” he said, speaking on Jackson Carman and Micah Parsons. “Coaches probably see [the opinions], and I know they aren’t going to base their [coaching] decision on what a recruit has to say. But I don’t think there’s a problem with them expressing their opinions.
“I wouldn’t do it because I have been around everyone at Ohio State and I’m committed there. I don’t think it would be right for me to do something like that. [If he wasn’t committed], that’s a different situation. If I’m just watching a game and say ‘so-and-so needs to change quarterbacks’ and I’m not being recruited by that team, that’s a different story.”
What about staying closer to home?
For a guy who continues to explore his options, Jones often talks like a player who is firmly committed. When asked about his mother, who he says is his best friend, he couldn’t help but speak about how he’ll miss her and his grandmother, the latter of whom jokes with him about staying closer to home (Franklin, Ga.) for college.
“My mom is definitely my best friend,” he said. “I’m going to miss her, my family and my friends. Everyone I’ve just grown up around since I was a little kid. I’m going to miss that. My grandma is always joking around. She’s always telling me how she wants me to go to a school closer to home so she can make it to all of my games. I know she’s kidding around. My mom told me before I committed to not worry about the distance. She’ll get to the games some way.”
With five months until signing day, it seems that the race for Emory Jones isn’t over.
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