Moments ago, Ohio State added another key piece to their highly-ranked recruiting class, bringing another talented prospect in to Urban Meyer’s program. What will their latest verbal bring to Columbus on, and off, the field?
The Buckeyes added a mega-commitment on Friday morning as 4-star quarterback Emory Jones committed to the Buckeyes, picking them over Tennessee, Clemson, Georgia, Florida and a host of others.
What are they getting from this big new addition? Let’s take a look.
As a football player
One word sums up Emory Jones today: potential.
The country’s third-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class, Jones has good size (6-foot-2, 195-pounds), a big-time arm, and well above-average speed (4.67 in the 40-yard dash). He’s got quick feet, a quick release and perhaps most importantly, an desire to get better.
“Emory Jones is a different type of guy,” one source close to the recruitment shared about the Franklin (Ga.) star. “He’s got the potential to be really special. He’s just starting to really understand the game and he’s as good a player I’ve seen, for his age, that I’ve been around. He wants to be great and that’s something a lot of people say but not everyone will work for. He will.”
That desire was evident during Jones’ last visit to Ohio State, which took place at Friday Night Lights in Columbus on July 22. He worked alongside two Buckeyes commitments – 2017 verbals Danny Clark and and Tate Martell – and went toe-to-toe throughout the event. The goal? To prove himself the best.
“It was interesting to see him go up against the 2017 commitments,” the source continued. “He may have been the best of the group physically, but right now he’s going only on his physical tools. Getting to be around the other guys may help him down the line because he’s going to learn the things you have to do off the field that can make you great.”
His role in the 2018 recruiting class
Jones has long stated that he wanted to commit early so that he – as the quarterback – could be the leader in his recruiting class. Now, the second commitment for the Buckeyes in 2018, the Heard County standout will get that chance. Jones joins Seffner (Fla.) 4-star running back Brian Snead, who committed to the Buckeyes at the conclusion of Friday Night Lights, in Ohio State’s class.
Ohio State – with two commitments at quarterback in 2017 – is almost certainly finished at the position for the 2018 class with today’s verbal. Jones will be the man and the only man in that role for 2018. He’s Georgia’s fifth-ranked player and the country’s 34th-ranked overall prospect in his class.
“It’s really big for Ohio State to have him in the mix early,” our source said. “He’s going to grow into his role as a leader but knowing that it’s his team he’s helping to build will be a big motivator. He’s the type of talent that other talented kids will want to play next to.”
Jones will now turn his sights to helping duplicate the efforts of Danny Clark and Tate Martell, getting to know the guys that the Buckeyes coaching staff feels will fit the best in Columbus. Players like Ohio speedster Jaelen Gill, Fairfield (Ohio) 5-star offensive lineman Jack Carman, 4-star New York tight end Jeremy Ruckert, Pennsylvania wide receiver Jahan Dotson and others will start getting the full-court press from Jones early and often.
“It’s really important,” Jones told Landof10 about being the leader in his class and committing before his junior season. “Being the leader in my class is really big to me, I want to recruit this class and make it the top recruiting class in the country. Plus, I get to focus on my team and be the best player and teammate I can be without coming home every night having to deal with recruiting.”
The off-the-field, intangible-type stuff
Jones is young, so in some ways he’s still developing off the field as much as he is on it. That said, he’s a prospect that has a very good head on his shoulders and as mentioned above, embraces the work that it takes to be great. Part of that is evident just by his decision to commit to Ohio State, where players like Joe Burrow, Dwayne Haskins, Tate Martell and Danny Clark will be waiting to try and keep him off the field.
“The commitments aren’t really affecting me,” Jones told Eleven Warriors in June. “I know everywhere I go I’m going to have to compete anyway.”
It’s that fire that makes Jones the guy for Urban Meyer and Tim Beck in 2018. He’s a quiet and calm leader off the field but isn’t afraid to mix it up when the moment calls for it.
“(Ohio State) got a winner in Emory Jones,” the source said. “He was the top guy for a reason, and it’s not just because of the way he can throw a football. He is a person that they can build around in the future.”