Linebackers are one of the biggest needs for the Florida Gators in the class of 2016 and on Monday the Gators coaching staff stopped by to see one of the best instate linebackers at his first practice.
That prospect was linebacker Jonathan Jones (6-1, 220, Orlando, FL Oak Ridge) who had two coaches visit him including defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.
“Coach Collins and the offensive coordinator [Doug Nussmeier] were out there watching us practice on Monday,” Jones said. “I didn’t talk to him because of the rules but he was around and talking to everyone. He watched us practice and he talked to some of the coaches.”
Collins couldn’t talk to Jones during the day but later Monday night the two talked about how Jones did in practice on Monday.
“I know that he told my coaching staff that he liked me and everything,” Jones said. “I called coach Collins that night and he said that he liked the way I practiced and moved around the field. He said that I looked good playing the position and that he was impressed.”
Last month Jones took a visit to Florida and during that trip he received an offer from the Gators and Florida has kept their recruiting pitch going over the last month.
“Yeah I talk to them pretty often,” Jones said. “It’s usually coach Collins that I talk to from Florida. He usually just tells me that he wants me to be a Florida Gator and that he likes what kind of player I am. He said that he thinks that Florida will benefit from having me and that I’ll benefit from going the school.”
Jones admits that Florida showed him a good time last month but it wasn’t enough to top two other schools.
“Florida was a great visit and I definitely had fun up there,” Jones said. “I’m getting more comfortable with those guys and I would say that Michigan and Duke are the schools that I like a lot. Florida is up there too and so is Kentucky.”
The Will Muschamp era continues to haunt Florida, and now one of the Gators old assistants has assisted in getting Michigan ahead of Florida.
“I’m just more comfortable with Michigan right now,” Jones said. “All of the coaches have talked to my parents and coach [D.J.] Durkin was at school the first day he could be so I guess that I’m just more comfortable with them right now.”
Head coach Jim McElwain and his staff aren’t going to go lightly and they will have a chance to get back in the top group this summer.
“I plan to stop by Florida for a visit this summer,” Jones said. “I plan to be in Michigan in June. I also plan to visit Georgia, Georgia Tech, FSU and North Carolina this summer. I would like to make a decision this summer after I take all of my visits.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Jones is all Michigan right now and unless Florida can build a better relationship with him then it looks like Jones could commit to Michigan in June when he visits them again. Florida does have Tyrek Tisdale working Jones hard as they’re teammates together in high school.