January 11, 2008
Jones ready to commit
Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger defensive tackle Otis Jones is considered by some in the Los Angeles area to be among the top sleeper prospects in the region.
Jones himself admits to being somewhat of a later bloomer who substantially improved as a high school senior after a modest junior campaign. Even so, he has some solid offers, and is prepared to commit to a particular Pac-10 program if given the opportunity.
"ASU started recruiting me late but I want to play in the Pac-10," Jones said. "I have a trip scheduled to Oregon the weekend after my trip to ASU this weekend but if ASU offers when I'm out there, I'm going to commit.
"I like coach Yarber. He's a good recruiter and he says he likes me a lot. He says he wants good players who are good guys and that I'm pretty fast and good for my size. ASU was talking to me first, before Oregon I mean, and it's close by. My parents don't have to go that far."
Jones previously took an official visit to Iowa State in the fall, and he reports offers from that program as well as from Colorado and Nevada. But it's too far away, he said, and he will play in the Pac-10 if given the opportunity.
"All I watch is the Pac-10," Jones said. "I watched ASU play almost every game it was on TV. I really like what they're doing. Coach Erickson, I never met him or talked to him before, but he's coached in the NFL. I know what he's done."
Jones measured in at 6-foot and 252 pounds last spring at the Los Angeles Nike Camp, but said he's now slightly taller than 6-foot-1 and 288 pounds. He's being recruited strictly as a defensive tackle. As a senior, he had 73 tackles, seven sacks, eight quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries.
"My junior year wasn't as good as my senior year," Jones said. "That was like my second year. I just recently started playing football. I'm still learning. I wasn't used to playing with older dudes. But the summer came, I worked harder, worked against more people. I got to see how my ability got better.
"I felt like I was one of the top prospects in all the camps I went to (Oregon State, Washington State and LA NIKE). I dominated the guys I went up against. And I'm even stronger and more aggressive now. All it is now is just better technique and knowing more."
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