Quite possibility the biggest need for the Florida Gators in the class of 2016 is linebackers after only signing one the last two years.
Linebacker Jonathan Jones (6-2, 210, Orlando, FL Oak Ridge) is a guy that fits the bid as a big linebacker and on Saturday he received some good news from the Gators while on his unofficial visit to Florida.
“Coach [Randy] Shannon was the coach that offered me a scholarship,” Jones said. “I was in his office one-on-one and he was just like do you have any questions? I said do I have an offer? He said yes and that he was surprised that nobody had told me yet.”
Jones wasn’t expecting the offer but is blessed to receive it and the Gators impressed the talented linebacker during junior day.
“It’s definitely great to get the offer,” Jones said. “After the visit and presentation today [Saturday] I feel good about Florida and have a good impression of them now. They have a lot to offer and it seemed like a really good school with a really good plan for the future.”
Linebackers coach Randy Shannon had the opportunity to have a lot of face time with Jones and he kept the message the same about the need for bodies at the position this year.
“They are pretty short at linebacker and coach Shannon said that need some badly in this class,” Jones said. “If I come to Florida then there is a good chance that I can compete for a spot and that I will be able to play early. I think he wants me at middle linebacker.”
If anyone in the country deserves to brag about his past it’s Shannon but Jones says that the coach never bragged but simply showed the linebacker his resume.
“He’s an honest guy and that’s what I look for in coaches,” Jones said. “He knows what he’s talking about and he talked about some of the guys he has coached in the past when we was in his office. He told me some of things he has done in the past. He wasn’t bragging but he was just telling me about himself.”
Before Jones left the visit he made sure to have a one-on-one meeting with head coach Jim McElwain who wanted to make sure that Jones knew he was thankful that he visited Florida.
“He was just fired up to see me and he was glad that me and Tyrek [Tisdale] got up there,” Jones said. “He definitely wants me to come back up more and he wants me to be a Florida Gator. Tyrek and I told him that we would be back for a spring practice.”
Despite the big visit and offer from Florida, the Gators still have some work to do to get to the top of Jones leaderboard.
“Michigan is my leader and Kentucky is next because a lot of family is in Kentucky,” Jones said. “Florida is most definitely in my top 5 after this visit though.”
INSIDERS TAKE: Jones and Tisdale now plan to visit Florida this coming Saturday for the Gators second junior day and to also watch spring practice. Jones wants to watch Shannon coach for himself.