Thursday, July 24, 2008

the recruit: perry jones

We're going to make Perry wait juuuuust a little bit here while some other news is covered. First, the Preseason All-ACC team is out - Eugene Monroe and Clint Sintim represent Virginia. I don't have any thoughts on this other than "yay 'Hoos."

Quick breakdown of the schools by number of players on the list:

Clemson: 4
FSU: 4
Wake: 4
BC: 3
GT: 3
UNC: 2
UVA: 2
VT: 2
Md.: 1
Miami: 0 (!!)
NCSt.: 0
Duke: 0

Second, we have a Tate Forcier update. Earlier indications were disappointing yet hopeful; remove hopeful and you now have the current state of affairs. Forcier has a "solid six" of six non-UVA schools. UVA is still listed as a "school of interest" on Tate's website but that is now less recent than the above interview.

Now, Perry Jones gets his day in the sun:

Name: Perry Jones
Position: S (or so he will be at UVA)
Hometown: Chesapeake
School: Oscar Smith
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 178
40: 4.4

ESPN: 74
Rivals: 5.1, two stars, unranked at RB, #21 in state of VA
Scout: two stars, #102 safety

First of all what the hell. Pretty much most indications are in agreement here: Jones is small (correction: "lacks ideal size") and is something of a lost-in-the-shuffle recruit. Almost all the numbers are decidedly meh. So is the offer list: Jones had 'em from Boston College and Navy.

So what's with this "#21 recruit in the state" stuff? Everyone below him has three stars from Rivals, except one: number twenty-eight, Theron Norman, has four. Star rankings: they mean everything, until they don't. Ai yi yi. Let's go look at some film.

Jones lines up at fullback (which is why Rivals lists him at RB), linebacker (which is why ESPN calls him ATH) and will play safety at UVA (which is why Scout gets it right, again, and lists him there.) Why safety? ESPN has this to say: "Would need to be employed in a system that covers him up and allows him to ball-hawk." Groh's linebackers do not get "covered up", not in the 3-4, so safety it is. Besides, the five interceptions are none too shabby.

The film shows two things: a linebacker who likes to go into the pile, and a fullback who likes to run over people. At 6'3", 230, this can be really spectacular to watch; at 5'8", 180, there is nothing spectacular but it is impressive nonetheless. When blitzing, Jones prefers to crash into the quarterback rather than tackle him; this is fun to watch no matter what. Again: hence the move to safety. College tight ends and fullbacks will gobble up 5'8" linebackers. At linebacker, the desire to crash into people is sometimes known as "undisciplined play"; at safety, it is a cherished talent.

Worth mentioning: Jones had 141 tackles last year, which works out to something like bazillions per game, and 24 TFL including 14 sacks. The man knows what he's doing on defense.

Finally, Jones is a teammate of WR Timothy Smith, and Jones will be working on him to pledge his services to the 'Hoos. Smith has plans for an official visit in October. We wish Perry Jones the very best of luck in this endeavor.

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