RECRUITING: Can Jones Really Do Everything?
Every once in a while as a reporter that calls football prospects, I run into one of those prospects that just seems to be able to do anything he wants on or off of the field. This year, that do everything player may be Oklahoma City (OK) Millwood quarterback Gerald Jones, who is also a great student and a dunk/scoring machine for a state championship basketball team.
Put a ball in his hands and Gerald Jones becomes electrifying, whether it’s a football or a basketball. Great things just have a habit of happening when Gerald Jones has the ball. Put a book in his hands and he becomes the quality student. He’s ranked tenth in his high school senior class academically. It makes you wonder if there’s anything this guy can’t do?
Led by Jones, Millwood is loaded this year and looks to make a trip to the state championship. With a four-year hiatus since their last state title in 2002, Millwood could go all the way behind Jones, who has some guns to work with on offense.
“We should make it to the state championship,” Jones said. “I think we have the best team in the state. We have seven Division I players and they are all seniors. A lot of people say it is most talent they have seen in Oklahoma in a long time. We are picked to win it almost every year, but we last won the state championship in 2002.”
The line of scrimmage is often cited as the place that championships are won. Jones appreciated his Hog-mollies that protect and block for him and he clamors about the big boys that create havoc on defense too. The rest of the defense should be stout also.
“We have a huge offensive line,” he said. “We are only 2-A, but our offensive and defensive lines are all over six feet and all over 250 pounds. I think we have the best defensive backs in the state, because they have all started since they were sophomores.”
Offensive skill is probably where Millwood will dominate people from. The weapons are probably just too much to counter with when they face other opponents.
“In the backfield we have me and running back Prince Robinson who has been starting since a sophomore,” Jones said. “We have another running back that came on strong at the end of last year. He is only a sophomore.”
Last season they attacked mostly by the ground. This year Millwood is planning on using the speed on the outside to go downfield and make life utterly miserable for their defensive opponents.
“We will be in a hurry up and run from the shotgun almost every play,” Jones said. “We have maybe the fastest player in the country named Gil Roberts at wide receiver. We also have Texas Tech commitment Tramain Swindall at the other receiver spot.”
As impressive as Jones is as a leader for a big time team, he is a great student athlete away from the gridiron. It certainly seems like the sky is the limit for this guy.
“My junior year I was coming in at 18 (academically) in my junior class,” he said. “Now I am up to number 10 in the senior class. My junior year was my best in the classroom so far. I could graduate in December but I want to stay. We won a state championship in basketball last year and all of the starters are back.”
For as shifty as he is on the football field, Jones likes to play basketball at the rim and not in open space. Although he plays with style and finesse, he also likes to mix it up inside a bit. Last season, as a junior, he averaged 24 points, 4 assists, and 6 rebounds.
“I play the 3 and the 4,” he said. “I am more like a slasher or attacker. I like to create. Tramain Swindall and I run a two man game and he is the shooter. If they collapse on me, I kick it out and he shoots. I like to electrify, so I like to dunk on people and stuff.”
For Jones it is a busy life going from one sport to the next and spending time studying for his classes. With all of this on the table, it is a wonder he could find the time over the summer to visit some college campuses and see what they may have to offer.
“It was exciting and a great experience, but it was tiring at the same time,” he said. “I went to a couple of schools and visited and then we started practice. I visited Arkansas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Oklahoma.”
All of those schools are within driving distance and Jones felt that he owed it to himself to check out as many schools close to him as he could. He will spend time in the fall getting to know schools a little farther away.
One of the schools that Jones is really interested in is the University of Florida. The Gators play a wide open style of offense and it is really what Jones is looking for. For Jones there is a great deal to like about the Gators, who are recruiting him as a wide receiver.
“Florida is no doubt one of the places I am looking at,” he said. “I am looking forward to getting up there to Gainesville. One thing about me different from others around here is I am looking forward to getting out of Oklahoma. I think if I was to leave and go far away that maybe they could develop me as a man. What better place to go than Florida? They have the number one recruiting class so why not play around those guys? They have a great tradition and play one of the toughest battles every week. Why not be a part of that?”
In recruiting sometimes there are questions that are just dying to be answered. As far as Jones goes, I wanted to know just how he became interested in the Gators all the way from the heartland and Oklahoma City.
“I actually got to see them play part of one game last year,” he said. “I was really interested in their jerseys to tell you the truth. I could just see myself in them.”
And the uniforms triggered Jones sending a highlight tape to Gainesville where the University of Florida coaches could not help but be very impressed.
“My sophomore year I got no looks at all because my tape didn’t get out,” he said. “My junior year we put together a highlight film and he asked me where I wanted to send it and one of them was Florida, so he got the number and they were interested.
“Now Coach Mullen text messages me almost every day and even Coach Gonzales talks to me a lot,” he said. “I think I am similar to Chris Leak and even though I won’t be playing that position, I saw that they got the ball to the receivers.”
With Florida already down as one of his stops for an official visit, Jones knows two more places he will likely make a trip to in the fall.
“Hopefully I will make my trips during the season,” he said. “I think I also want to visit Notre Dame and Michigan too. Everyone else I am still debating.”
Two other schools with more of a local flavor about them are very high on his list also. Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have a lot of what he is looking for, but are close enough that he probably won’t visit them officially.
“I really like OSU and Texas Tech, but they are so close,” he said. “I won’t take an official visit there because I can drive there.”
Having spent a great deal of time talking about Florida, he also talked about a myriad of things he liked about the other four schools on his list.
OSU: “Coach Curtis Luper recruits me there. They are giving me the option of running back, wide receiver, or cornerback and I am cool with that. It just felt like home when I went there. I have two old teammates from my school there, Donovan and D’Juan Woods. Other than that, they care for me as a person. They tell me if I was to get hurt I could still go there on scholarship. It is just the people.”
TEXAS TECH: My teammate Tramain Swindall is already heading there and that really plays a big part. We are like brothers and don’t really go anywhere without each other, but I don’t want to get caught up with him making my decision. Their offense is so wide open and I think that is where I am deadly at, in the open field. I think if I can get in that offense and have time to create, I can get drafted in the league or who knows win the Heisman or something.”
NOTRE DAME: “Charlie Weis is a cool person. He is down to earth and tells it like it is. I like Notre Dame because they have great tradition, but I have never seen them play. I looked up on the internet and saw that they have one of the best PT (Physical Therapy) schools in the country. I know there is competition there, but I would look forward to it.”
MICHIGAN: “I haven’t looked a whole lot into Michigan, but Coach (Scot) Loeffler who I have been talking to tells me what they want and I think I could do well in that offense too. I just like the opportunity too.”
Whatever school lands Jones will most likely impress him with showing him he will mature as a player, a student, and a man more than he would by going anywhere else. It isn’t just about winning on Saturdays.
“[Being part of a great recruiting class] is kind of important and kind of not,” Jones said. “I am not really worrying about winning it all. I am worried about being taught how to become a man. Life is not football, and one day football will be over with. I just want to go somewhere I can get a degree and a good job. Recruiting classes are a plus, because I get to play around great athletes and get better. It’s a plus but not necessarily a good deal.”
It boils down to these things for his college choice.
“The people … I do want to play right away, depth chart as far as the position they want to play me in,” he said. “I also have to say team unity as far as being around the people.”
And in turn the college of choice will get one heck of a person and a bonafide superstar of a football player.
“I would have to say I play like Mark Clayton,” he said. “I am about six foot and am very shifty and I work good in the open field. Mark Clayton made unbelievable moves in college and I think I can do the same thing.”
Gerald Jones is the kind of kid that when he says it, you just don’t doubt that he can do it.
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2014 Football Commits
|Davidson (NC) Day|
|Cross City (Fla.) Dixie County|
|Jacksonville (Fla). Raines|
|Deland (Fla.) High|
|New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine|
|Miami (Fla.) Central|
|Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas|
2013 Basketball Commits
|Clermont (Fla.) Montverde Academy|
|Bonifay (Fla) Holmes County|
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