The Florida Gators did not sign a single defensive tackle for the 2011 recruiting class. However, that position seems to have become a priority for the 2012 class.
The Gators already have a commitment from Dante Phillips (6-6/260 Venice/Venice HS) and have scholarship offers out to a few other top defensive tackles such as Jafar Mann (6-4/275, Stone Mountain, GA/ Stephenson), Jonathan Bullard (6-4/255, Shelby, NC/ Crest), and Earl Moore (6-2/250, Tampa/Hillsborough). The latest to receive a Florida offer is Jarron Jones of Rochester, N.Y.
Jones now has a total of 16 possible college destinations after recently receiving offers from Florida, Michigan, and Notre Dame.
The 6-foot-6, 305-pound junior defensive tackle from Aquinas Institute has also garnered the attention of schools like Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida State.
While Jones will be visiting Rutgers next weekend, he said that he has not yet thought about which schools he is currently favoring. Jones is concentrating more on his upcoming senior season than he is on putting together a top-five list of colleges.
“I’m just taking it all in and focusing on athletics,” Jones said.
Jones plans on visiting the University of Florida sometime this spring or summer but has not yet set a date. While he hasn’t visited Gainesville yet, he said he likes Florida for both athletic and academic reasons.
“I like their winning programs and the wide selection of majors,” Jones said.
Jones also said that his Aquinas team has a good chance of repeating as Class A state champions in 2011.
As a junior, Jones had 10 sacks and 68 tackles. His big junior season helped continue the national spark that started when he was offered a scholarship by Boston College after one day at the school’s camp last summer. His performance in the 2010 New York state playoff tournament led to a heavy flow of offers.
Colleges are impressed by both his size and speed for a defensive tackle. Jones ran the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds.
The U.S. Army All-American Bowl has already invited Jones to play in its game next year in San Antonio.
Gator Country reporter Bryan Holt can be reached at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/BryanHoltGC