May 4, 2010

Gators offer elite Alabama safety

Adamsville (Ala.) Minor safety Chris Jones has had a few schools at the top of his list for some time. As offers have continued to file in this offseason, Jones has consistently mentioned Auburn, Florida and Tennessee as favorites with Notre Dame as an addition to that list following an Irish offer. However, among those favorites, one school had yet to offer. That changed on Monday.

Jones had been receiving significant interest from Florida but yet to receive an offer. Recently, Florida safeties coach Chuck Heater made the trip to Adamsville to get a look at Jones in person. Clearly Heater liked what he saw.

"What he told me was that they'd love to see me," Jones said on Monday evening. "[Coach Heater] came down and watched me practice and he liked what he had seen and he offered me on the spot."

Despite the interest from the Gators, the offer still came as a relative surprise to Jones.

"I felt shocked, really shocked," he said. "Getting an offer from Florida, it was just exciting and made me want to work even harder. I didn't really think they were going to offer me and when they did, it was just a very shocked moment."

Though the offer was a big one in Jones' eyes and is one that he will take into heavy consideration, it still wasn't enough to unseat Auburn at the top of Jones' list of favorites.

"It's Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and then Notre Dame," he said of his leaders. "Florida has moved into the number two spot. I went down on a visit but I really haven't been down on a visit with the players and everything there, that's the next step."

The familiarity and comfort level that he is looking for out of the Florida program is something that Jones has already found at Auburn and remains the reason that the Tigers are holding onto the lead for his commitment.

"Really, I've been down there a couple of times and it hasn't all been about football," he said of Auburn. "They've shown me how life is with football and just socializing with the coaches and stuff. That's something that I haven't seen with Florida. If I did then it could put Florida on top."

With offers from all of his four top schools, Jones' recruitment seems to be right where he wants it. However, he is still keeping his options open until it comes time for a commitment.

"I'm still looking around and still want to take visits to see really what I want to do," he said. "By the end of the summer and towards the season it's going to be time to buckle down."

Throughout the rest of the spring and summer, Jones has plans of attending the Auburn Big Cat Weekend, a camp at Notre Dame and he also hopes to visit both Tennessee and Florida.




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