Tigers in top five for Stephenson's Jarontay Jones

by - Senior Writer -

Stephenson High School (Stone Mountain, Ga.) held the first practice of the spring under blue skies and under the watchful eyes of several college coaches.

Stephenson currently has 14 players with Division 1 offers, and Clemson defensive ends coach Marion Hobby was there to make sure that big-time defensive end prospect Jarontay Jones Jarontay Jones
Defensive Line
6-3, 230
Stone Mountain, GA

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knew he was there.

Jones noticed, despite the large numbers of coaches that have rolled through middle Georgia over the past week.

“It has been like that every day, with college coaches everywhere,” Jones told TigerNet Monday evening. “There are so many schools, and that first day was crazy. Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Auburn, Alabama and Michigan were all there. You can't really pay them any attention, though. I just go out there and have fun.

“There were a lot of people last year, but nothing like this. Last year, we had two or three big names. We had a lot of seniors, but most of them didn’t have any scholarship offers. This year, it is just a great change because of all of the attention.”

Jones said he and Hobby are developing a tight bond.

“I saw him out there last week, on the first day we had spring practice,” he said. “I actually tried to call him yesterday. I am definitely considering Clemson, and I have them in my top five. I want to go up there for a visit. Coach Hobby is a great guy.”

Who else makes Jones’ top five?

“Right now, it is North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Florida and Michigan,” he said. “Along with Clemson. I want to make sure I get out this summer and make the visits.”

Jones said the Tigers have the kind of tradition he is looking for.

“It’s a great program, because year in and year out they put defensive linemen in the NFL,” he said. “Every year it seems like they put a d-lineman in the league. I watched the draft, and I was upset that Da’Quan Bowers fell so far. The Buccaneers got a steal, though.”

He said he will visit Clemson sometime this summer, and then make a decision before the start of football in the fall because he wants to concentrate on winning a state championship.

“We definitely have to do it this year,” he said. “There are no more excuses with all of the people we have. We definitely have to get that ring. We went undefeated the whole season last year, and then we lost in the first round. We have to go further this year.”

Jones had 90 tackles, 16 sacks and 24 tackles for loss during the 2010 campaign.

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