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Columbia WR TJ Jones lands long-awaited UM offer, is ready to return to Miami

Columbia WR TJ Jones lands long-awaited UM offer, is ready to return to Miami

Stefan Adams
Up until this spring, 2019 Columbia (FL) 3-star WR TJ Jones had been flying under the radar. One look at his junior tape, however, and you’ll see a potential impact talent at the next level. Apparently, major colleges all across the country agreed, as Jones has picked up offers from Nebraska, Florida, Texas A&M, Oregon, and Penn State just in the past month or so. The offer he’s most been waiting on, though, finally came in just this week, and it was from Ron Dugans and the Miami Hurricanes.

“Two days ago, coach Ron Dugans texted me telling me to talk to my coach,” Jones said. “I was in the middle of switching classes, and my coach wasn’t at school, so I called him and said ‘What changed with the Canes?’ and he said ‘They offered you and want you to come down to camp.’ It felt great because that’s the offer I’ve been waiting on.”

Why has he been waiting on a Canes offer?

“Well, I went to the Notre Dame game last year and fell in love. After the game, went to the locker room and I talked to Chad (Thomas). I like him. I knew him through his rapping though, I listen to Major Nine,” Jones said. “Also, my dad is a die-hard Miami Hurricane. Most of my family is from down south, so they throw up the U. They were all excited about the offer.”

WR Coach Ron Dugans has been leading the effort to help bring Jones into the fold at Miami and Jones has appreciated his truthful nature throughout the recruiting process.

“Coach Dugans is an upfront guy, he kept it real with me through the whole thing,” said Jones. “I had been supposed to get offered, but he kept it real and told me he was looking for two guys. He had a commitment already and was trying to get another guy to commit. But the guy flipped and committed to Clemson, so that opened the door for me. He kept it real with me though, because he didn’t want to offer me early and I couldn’t commit.”

Now that Jones holds a firm offer from UM, the 6’1” 187 pounder says his interest in attending Miami couldn’t be much higher.

“It’s definitely high. Miami, that’s a big opportunity for me and I feel my game is a Miami-style game. It’s straight dogs there and I feel like I can fit right in with that,” Jones said.

The rising senior pass-catcher has plans to make three trips to the Coral Gables campus at varying points within the next year and hopes to see for himself if Miami is the right place for him.

“Yes sir, I’ll take an unofficial soon,” Jones said on visiting Miami. “I’m going to wait to take an official until during the season. I’m also going to try to make it to Paradise camp.”

Describing his game, Jones sees himself as a complete wide-out and his production on the field last year at Columbia speaks for itself.

“I had a pretty good junior year. I know I had 30 something receptions for over 900 yards,” Jones said. “I would say I’m a speedster, I’m physical, I got great hands. I feel like I’m not just a pretty receiver, I can do it all, even block.”

While he’s not ready to name leaders right now, Jones does name some schools he hears the most from.

“Texas A&M, Ole Miss, they’ve been coming after me hardest. Miami, it was so recent with them since they just offered me,” Jones said. “I’ve also been hearing from Florida, they offered. Florida State, they haven’t offered yet but they’re trying to get me down.”

What does Jones like about the Aggies and Rebels?

“Texas A&M, I took an official there, it was my first one. They still had 65,000 out there for the spring game, it was great. Ole Miss, I took an unofficial there. It’s not easy to get caught up in anything out there cause there’s not much to do, so it’s a school where I can stay focused.”

While Jones would prefer to wait and play the process out to make a decision, he also recognizes the opportunity at Miami won’t be there for long.

“I don’t know. Before, I was thinking probably February, but I don’t know, I might verbally commit somewhere before then if I see it’s time, or, in Miami’s situation, you want to commit before somebody else,” said Jones.

But, when it does come time to make a decision, Jones will be searching for an environment where he feels comfortable, as well as a team where he can have a strong connection with the coaching staff.

“Just feeling the energy, feeling welcome. I’m trying to feel like everybody on the team, like I say Miami’s got dogs, I want to feel that everybody works hard, and feel like they’d take me in like a little brother. That’ll be a big thing,” Jones said. “Also, having a good relationship with my coaches. But, you know, you’ve got to hear it from the players first.”

 

Comments (28)

Film reminds me of Allen Hurns' HS film. Interesting.
 
From his highlights, he looks seriously underrated. Would pair well with Payton and make a great class. Anyone know how fast he is?
 
Kid needs to hurry up and commit, before someone else does.
I want him as our second WR over Dunmore and pretty much everyone else we are recruiting outside of Ladson and Haselwood, who are both already committed.
 
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Don’t get it twisted , these country boys from Lake City are dogs themselves. Unreal a country town puts out the caliber of athlete it does. It’s always amazed me.

It’s a different breed there .

Unless it’s Dequan Ivery lol.
 
We're about due for someone from Columbia HS - but the 2 that Shannon brought in weren't the best - at least I don't recall them doing too much.

Yatil, on the other hand, was only held back by injuries.

Don’t get it twisted , these country boys from Lake City are dogs themselves. It’s different breed there.

Unless it’s Dequan Ivery lol.
 
Highlights show (IMHO):
  • Most impressive attribute is his hands and consistent technique high-pointing the ball and catching it with his hands away from his body.
  • Athleticism and speed look good. Hard to tell what the competition level is, but I would say good, not elite, from this film.
  • Love to see a highlight reel from a receiver that includes solid downfield blocking. That says something about him.
  • Route running appears very raw, and the number and type of routes represented in his highlights are very limited and rudimentary, but there are a few plays in there that show a solid feel for finding holes in zone coverage.
If we can't have Ladson, he seems like a decent option for WR2 in this class, given what we've added in the last two classes.
 
Highlights show (IMHO):
  • Most impressive attribute is his hands and consistent technique high-pointing the ball and catching it with his hands away from his body.
  • Athleticism and speed look good. Hard to tell what the competition level is, but I would say good, not elite, from this film.
  • Love to see a highlight reel from a receiver that includes solid downfield blocking. That says something about him.
  • Route running appears very raw, and the number and type of routes represented in his highlights are very limited and rudimentary, but there are a few plays in there that show a solid feel for finding holes in zone coverage.
If we can't have Ladson, he seems like a decent option for WR2 in this class, given what we've added in the last two classes.

Columbia plays good competition.
 
We're about due for someone from Columbia HS - but the 2 that Shannon brought in weren't the best - at least I don't recall them doing too much.

Yatil, on the other hand, was only held back by injuries.


Fsu has made a killing on studs from LC, it’s pretty much mostly Nole and a little Gator. But living there I was shocked at all the um swag around town. Good Cane following for that far up north and a hick town.


Oh and Yatil went to school with my ex, she was like “you’d never thought he was going to Miami, and was a highly regarded football player. He was quiet and kinda nerdy”. But ironically he was one of my favorite canes ever. Reading her year book I couldn’t believe he was that skinny, he looked like a stick. I didn’t remember him being that tiny.
 
Film reminds me of Allen Hurns

Good comparison. Crisp routes, strong hands, physical, deceptive speed.

Looks like a football player. I prefer that over flash. Sign him up.
 
Fsu has made a killing on studs from LC, it’s pretty much mostly Nole and a little Gator. But living there I was shocked at all the um swag around town. Good Cane following for that far up north and a hick town.


Oh and Yatil went to school with my ex, she was like “you’d never thought he was going to Miami, and was a highly regarded football player. He was quiet and kinda nerdy”. But ironically he was one of my favorite canes ever. Reading her year book I couldn’t believe he was that skinny, he looked like a stick. I didn’t remember him being that tiny.

He was definitely a string bean when he got to Miami. My brother and I were huge fans of his as well. He would have been a stud in the NFL if it weren't for the injuries.
 
He was definitely a string bean when he got to Miami. My brother and I were huge fans of his as well. He would have been a stud in the NFL if it weren't for the injuries.

Agree, no doubt about it. He was silky smooth.

I guess he didn’t look so skinny back then because the pads were huge, even for wr.
 
He was definitely a string bean when he got to Miami. My brother and I were huge fans of his as well. He would have been a stud in the NFL if it weren't for the injuries.

If he hadn't got injured right in front of my face at Dolphins camp him and Marino would have killed it.
 

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