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Q&A: Jeff Jones Talks Gophers, Gators, Wolverines & Recruiting Overall With Signing Day Approaching

01/19/2014, 7:30am CST
By Chris Monter

Jeff Jones has two more visits set up, and then will sign on Feb. 5.

Jeff Jones, a 5-10, 180-pound senior running back from Minneapolis Washburn who was named Minnesota's Mr. Football, talked to Gopher Hole about the latest on his recruitment and visit plans Saturday.


Jones rushed for 1523 yards (9.1 yards per carry) as a senior. He had 493 receiving yards (18.5 yards per reception). Jones had 44 touchdowns this season and finished his career with 4668 yards and 92 career touchdowns.


The two-sport standout talked with Gopher Hole Saturday before the Millers' basketball 88-78 overtime loss to Waseca about the latest on his recruitment.
Gopher Hole: Do you like the recruiting process? Will you be glad when it is finally over?


Jeff Jones: The recruiting process is enjoyable right now. There is a lot to look forward to. I have two more visits left. I'll be happy when it is all over because you officially know where you are going and you can put your heart into that program and learn more about that program.


Gopher Hole: What is your least favorite part of it?


Jeff Jones: The reporters (laughing). There are a lot of people, somehow they get my phone number and they just keep blowing me up and blowing me up. Right now, that is really the most annoying part.


Gopher Hole: So, sorry about that.


Jeff Jones: No, don't be. If you get me in the flesh, I am good, but I don't like texting. I would rather be talked to in the flesh than texting two pages about where I have been and how I liked it.


Gopher Hole: Have you set up those two visits the next two weekends or are you still planning that?


Jeff Jones: Yes. I will be going to Florida on the 24th and Michigan on the 31st.


Gopher Hole: Have both of those schools offered you? 


Jeff Jones: Yes. They have. 


Gopher Hole: Are you planning on deciding by the 5th, which is the signing date or are you going to decided that day?


Jeff Jones: I am going to sign on February 5th at the school's gym.


Gopher Hole: Are they doing a little ceremony at the school?


Jeff Jones: They are doing a pep fest or something like that to recognize all the guys that are signing at my school.


Gopher Hole: Do you have any other teammates who are doing something that day?


Jeff Jones: There should be about three or four guys on my team that should be able to sign.


Gopher Hole: Do you know where they are going yet or are they still trying to figure that out, too?


Jeff Jones: They are still trying to figure that out. They are looking more into the academic programs of the schools. They already know exactly what they want to major in, so they are looking more into the details of what the academics have to offer.


Gopher Hole: In terms of your academics, have you decided on a major yet or have you thought that far?


Jeff Jones: I have thought about criminal justice and business, right now, it is still just a thinking process.


Gopher Hole: I know that you have been working on your academics. Are you eligible yet or do you still need to work on some things?


Jeff Jones: I have got to take the ACT. After I take the ACT, I'll know for sure if I am going to be eligible or not. That is going to give it all away.


Gopher Hole: When are you planning on taking that?


Jeff Jones:  February 8th.


Gopher Hole: Are you taking it again?


Jeff Jones: I took a practice one.


Gopher Hole:  What is going to be the main thing that is finally going to make you pick School A over School B or C?


Jeff Jones: It is going to be the relationship with the coaches.  There have been schools that have come in late, but if I can build a relationship with where I can trust the coaching staff in this time period, then that would be great for me.


Gopher Hole: How many schools would you really say that you are considering right now?


Jeff Jones: Minnesota. Michigan State, Iowa State, Michigan, Florida and Tennessee.


Gopher Hole: You have never been to Tennessee yet, right?


Jeff Jones: No. Their coach gave me a call after the game and basically broke down why I would have a chance to play right away and he was a real genuine guy with me. He let me know that they passed up on a good player, but they are trying to make up for it by talking to me.


Gopher Hole: I haven't talked to you since the Under Armour All-America Game, where you were named MVP. What was that experience like and how proud are you for receiving that kind of award?


Jeff Jones: I felt great. It was a great opportunity to be able to go out there and showcase Minnesota talent. Not only what I have, but there are guys up here that can play at that level. It was a great opportunity to go down there and play. 


Gopher Hole: Unfortunately, people across the country don't know how good the talent is in Minnesota. Was that nice to show that there are some good players from here?


Jeff Jones: Yes. We are sitting here in Owatonna and we have Andrew Stetler committed to the  Gophers and that kid is a totally different person once he straps up his pads. That is just another example of the talent that we have up here that is not being seen on a national stage.


Gopher Hole: You committed to Minnesota a while ago and they only have one running back commitment and that is you. Is that important to you when you look at schools?


Jeff Jones: Yes. That shows that Minnesota is going to be just as loyal as I am. They are a staff that told me if I am going to commit that they are not going to look for no other backs. That is the thing that I like about them. The staff is a true and genuine staff and if they get the guy that they want they are going to change that program around fast.


Gopher Hole: Have you looked at some of the other programs like Florida and Michigan to see how many running back commitments they have?


Jeff Jones: They don't have any. Both of the schools that you named don't have a running back signed in my class, so they are really coming at me hard right now.

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