January 19, 2009

Jones enjoys Spartan visit

Head Coach Mark Dantonio and his staff spend most of their resources recruiting players in the Midwest; however, there are a few key players from down south that the staff has prioritized for the class of 2009. Safety prospect Jairus Jones of Wharton High School in Tampa is just such a player.

Michigan State offered the 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect early in the recruiting process and has been actively recruiting him ever since. Jones is rates a 3-star recruit and the #68 athlete prospct in the nation by Rivals.com. He finsihed up his prpe career in style by racking up 188 tackles and being selected to the Florida North/South All-Star Squad.

This weekend Michigan State hosted Jones on an official visit and SpartanMag.com, was able to catch up with before he boarded the plane to head back to Florida.

"It went real well," he said. "I had a good time. My host was for the weekend Ashton Henderson."

The visit to Michigan State came at a time in when much of the Midwest has been locked in a deepfreeze that has been breaking records all over the region. The cold winter weather though is not something that played much of a factor as Jones is originally from Michigan.

"I grew up in Michigan," Jones said. "I lived there until I was in second grade. We lived in the Rochester Hills area so coming back to Michigan is like going home."

Jones was able to meet many of the Spartan players and staff. He also got time to sit down and speak with Head Coach Mark Dantonio on Sunday morning. Coach Dantonio reiterated that the Spartans would like Jones to be a part of their class and help the team win Big Ten Championships.

As is customary for the Spartans under Coach Dantonio, the staff will be paying Jones a visit this week.

"Coach (Harlon) Barnett said he will be coming down to see me," Jones said. "He is my primary recruiter and my position coach."

The fact that Coach Barnett has served as Jones' primary recruiter throughout the process has allowed him to develop a good rapport with his potential position coach. Coach Barnett likes players that are physical and Jones' play epitomizes that.

The visit to Michigan State was Jones' second official visit. Earlier this month he visited Elon University. Jones' brother Josh is a linebacker there. Jones has visits scheduled for Iowa this coming weekend and for Oklahoma State the weekend after that. All of those teams have offered as did schools such as Nebraska, Iowa Illinois and LSU.

The initial plan was for Jones to take all of his official visits and then make his decision on signing day. We asked him if that is still the case.

"Yes, that is what I was planning to do, but I may make my decision sooner. I am not sure. I have to think about things."

Michigan State is very tight on scholarships and wants to add 1 safety prospect to this class. Jones is obviously the top prospect on the board, but it is likely the staff will have other players visit either this weekend or next.

The Spartans, like most teams, are filling up on scholarships as Signing Day approaches. Often it becomes a situation of recruits wanting to miss out on a great opportunity.

SpartanMag.com will be sure to follow-up with Jones later this week. Coach Barnett is flying down to visit Jones later this week. Spartanmag.com will get quotes from Jones about how the visit went and his future plans.

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