4-star LB Jones stands out at IMG spring game, updates recruitment

4-star LB Jones stands out at IMG spring game, updates recruitment

Stefan Adams
Last week, IMG Academy took to the field to take part in their annual spring game in front of a crowd of fans and college coaches that came to watch a talented roster on both sides of the ball. Split into offense-defense, it was the defense coming out on top, and one of the top performers on the stop-unit was 2019 4-star LB Mikel Jones.

“I did good,” Jones said. “My defensive teammates Nolan Smith and Charles Thomas stood out too. We stopped the offense way more times, won the scrimmage.”

Originally growing up in the Miami-area meant Jones was no stranger to the local program, and he elaborated on what it was like to live near the campus of the Miami Hurricanes.

“I used to go to Mater Academy, near Coconut Grove, right down the street,” Jones said. “So I knew about the U, I was a real fan of the U. If you grow up in Miami, you’ve got to like the U.”

Despite that, Jones is still waiting on his UM offer. Although early on in his recruitment Jones was hearing from the Canes often, he says contact has fallen off lately.

“I don’t think I’m going to wait anymore,” Jones said on potentially getting a Miami offer. “I used to talk to Manny (Diaz) a lot, but not anymore.”

Where would the Canes be in his mind if that offer did come through?

“I’m not sure, it all depends on communication with the coaches,” Jones said. “I like the coaches and all that, I’ve been on a couple visits there. I know a lot about the campus and the school and everything.”

A good way to earn an offer from the U is to show up and show out at Paradise Camp in July. However, Jones isn’t sure if he can make it down for the event just yet.

“I’m not sure yet, I’m not sure if I can make that camp,” Jones said.

When talking leaders, the 6'1" 217 pounder has eight schools in mind that he hears from regularly.

“I’d say Auburn, LSU, Oregon, Syracuse, NC State, Kentucky, Clemson, and Georgia,” Jones said on his current top schools.

While he has no current visit plans set in stone, two Power 5 programs are in line to get visits from the talented linebacker this summer.

“I might be going to Auburn and NC State soon,” Jones said.

With tons of D-1 talent on the roster at IMG, the players on the team have attracted plenty of attention from some of the same colleges. That’s made it easier for the recruits to potentially end up at the same programs and Jones says it’s something that is discussed frequently among his teammates.

“Yeah some of us talk about it, since some of us get recruited by the same schools,” Jones said on playing with his teammates at the next level. “We definitely talk about it since the opportunity is there.”

Out of all the prospects at IMG, though, 5-star RB Trey Sanders is the guy getting the most interest from colleges on the team. Sanders has been on campus at Miami a few times this year already, but Jones says where he’ll end up is a mystery at this time.

“Man nobody knows (laughs), I don’t even think he knows,” Jones said. “Just like Bookie (Radley-Hiles), nobody knew with him either until the very end. Trey has a lot of options, so he’s in a good spot. He talks about Miami and UF a lot, though.”

As for a timetable for when he himself might make a decision, Jones believes it will be best to wrap up his recruitment before his senior year starts. He’ll be looking for a program that has great educational benefits, as well as comfortability with the coaching staff.

“Definitely before the season. So sometime this summer,” Jones said. “Well, first is academics. Like the stuff I want to study in for the next 3-4 years. Then, the coaches, it’s got to be a good program. Communication with the coaches, it’s got to be a good vibe and somewhere I can feel at home.”

Last season, IMG ran the table and went 11-0 to cap a perfect season. It doesn’t get much better than that, but Jones and his teammates understand the standard that has been set and he plans to continue to meet it in his final high school season.

“It’s my last ride in high school, I feel like I got to come out there and win every game, give it my best and just enjoy it because you’ll always remember this,” Jones said. “We’re travelling a lot, going to California, Nevada, a lot of places. I’m just ready to go out there and showcase my talent and play on this team. I built a relationship with these boys because I live with them and we go to school with each other, everybody cool with each other. We’re just trying to all do the same thing, go undefeated.”


Comments (20)

Mikel. I would like to think it's because of grades that we haven't been recruiting him all that hard.
Frank Gore's cousin...
2/26/2017 6-0 207 40: -.-- SH: 4.45 PB: 34 VJ: 30 Rating: --.--
2/18/2018 6-0 209 40: 4.94 SH: 4.25 PB: 35 VJ: 32.4 Rating: 88.89
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Got to admit when I saw this kids film about 2 years ago, I was all about this kid and compared him to Marvin Jones
I just asked about him on another thread. It’s weird we aren’t recruiting him that hard
Took a few bad angles, but overall had good technique. I love how he seals the edge then sweeps down the LOS on run plays. The offenses seemed to run away from him, not sure if that was intentional or just a coincidence of the highlights selected. I really didn't see him drop into coverage at all, so hard to tell if he is a good fit for a Diaz defense. Plus first step, but didn't see elite top (closing) speed.

All in all, definitely worth following and hopefully inviting to Paradise to see how he stacks up. But I can see why the coaches aren't pushing hard for him just yet. Too many question marks.
"Mater academy near coconut grove" ?
There is a Mater Grove Academy here in the grove. It’s an elementary school...pretty sure that’s what he meant.