Georgia’s ‘fastest football recruit’ visits Auburn and Georgia Tech; Next stops are Tennessee and FSU

Jonathan Jones, who is considered “Georgia’s fastest football recruit,” recently picked up an offer from reigning BCS champion Auburn and visited Georgia Tech earlier this week.

The 5-foot-10 1/2 cornerback from Carrollton High School is a track star who led his team to a state championship last month and is a candidate for the Junior Olympics in the hurdles. Jones, who has a 3.7 GPA, prefers a future in football and is a three-year starter for one of Georgia’s top high school programs. He has around a dozen early scholarship offers and will begin to narrow down after visiting both Tennessee and Florida State next month.

“In my 26 years, I don’t think I’ve ever had a corner as good as Jonathan — that has that tenacity with hitting and tackling and that kind of speed,” Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague told the AJC. “I’ve had guys who had more picks but not a kid that is the total package like Jonathan. The sky is the limit for him. He’s a great kid and a great competitor. There’s no doubt he’s a Div. I corner because of his speed and hips. But he hits like a Div. I safety, which makes him kind of special.”

Because it's Georgia with around 200 D1 football prospects every year, there are always a few big-time talents flying a little under the recruiting radar. Carrollton DB Jonathan Jones is one of those guys this year, despite 15 early offers. Expect that number to increase very soon (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Because it's Georgia with around 200 D1 football prospects every year, there are always a few big-time talents flying a little under the recruiting radar. Carrollton DB Jonathan Jones is one of those guys this year, despite a dozen early offers. Expect that number to increase very soon (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Jones auditioned for an offer at Auburn camp earlier this month and earned one — after blowing away the coaches with his speed and football smarts. “Ted Roof, the defensive coordinator, said one of the things they do at camp is sit down and go over strategy and schemes. He was amazed with how quickly Jonathan picked up everything so quickly.”

The next trips for the speedster will be Tennessee on July 18, and Florida State on July 19.

“I don’t really have any leaders right now,” Jones told the AJC. “But once I visit Tennessee and Florida State, and see if they offer me or not, then I will have a better idea about everything. As far as my current offers, I’m really liking Auburn, Mississippi State and Georgia Tech.”

Georgia Tech covets Jones and was one of his first offers. He toured the campus on Monday. “It went really well,” Jones said. “I got to hang out with the coaches and look around. I like how Georgia Tech is not rushing me. They told me they would stick with me until the end. They know I want to check out all my options before I make my decision, and they respect that.”

What about UGA? Said Teague: “My understanding is that the defensive coordinator, being a pro guy, wants bigger corners, the 6-1 and 6-2 guys. Jonathan is too short for them at 5-10 1/2. They just don’t think he’s tall enough. That was their deal.”

Georgia’s top-rated defensive backs in the recruiting rankings are St. Pius’ Geno Smith (Alabama and Auburn are co-leaders) and Creekside’s Josh Holsey (committed to Auburn). Jones, who has missed numerous college camps and prospect combines in recent months due to his track obligations, is also emerging as a national prospect at the position. Said Teague, “I think Geno is a little bit taller and has great ball skills. I think Jonathan is faster and Jonathan hits harder.”

One thing that is not debatable is the blistering speed of Jones. Last month, he finished first in the 110-meter hurdles (14.02 seconds) and 300-meter hurdles (37.39) and won the Class AAA all-points trophy, while leading Carrollton to its second team championship in a row. This summer, Jones is touring the country for track, including meets in California and North Carolina. He registered a personal record of 13.72 in the 110 at the New Balance Outdoor Invitational.

Jones could go to about any college for track but prefers football.

“It’s just what I grew up doing,” Jones explained. “I started playing football at the age of four. It’s something I just love to do. With track, people saw that I was fast and said ‘go run track.’ But football is in my heart.”

Last year as a junior, Jones helped Carrollton’s football team reach the Class AAA state championship, where it was edged out by Sandy Creek 14-7.  Some of his other offers are from Stanford, Kentucky, Boston College, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin. Asked if there was any other school that isn’t recruiting him that he wished would, Jones replied, “LSU.”

What do I think? There’s a lot to like about Jonathan Jones. His speed is well-documented. The video below is his newest, and there are plays on there against very good competition where JJ makes it look like everybody else is in slow motion. Toward the middle of the tape, you can see what his coach means by saying that Jones will be a D1 DB but hits like a D1 safety, although other video of Jones shows it better. He’s definitely not afraid to hit. This is not football, but I like how at the state track meet he was in the spotlight and had a ton of pressure on him to perform well; he met or exceeded all expectations there, and has continued to have success on the regional/national level this summer. I like how he carries himself, not some rah-rah “hey-look-at-me” but rather an unassuming and humble kid. I absolutely love his academic achievements (Stanford offer) and character (recently named permanent team captain in HS). I like his size. If I’m a college football coach, I like that Jones can put it on cruise control to just about anywhere on a track scholarship,  yet hungers to play football. And I just keep going back to that speed, speed, speed — you can’t coach it. In my opinion, I think Jonathan Jones is most certainly one of the top overall college prospects in the state of Georgia. I think his coach said it best with “total package.” I think he already has some great offers — and that he is about to get more.

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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198 comments Add your comment

Alabamadawg

June 30th, 2011
4:33 am

I can’t believe the dawgs are not offering this kid !! Thats ridiculous !!

patience

June 30th, 2011
4:33 am

Terry MBA '03

June 30th, 2011
5:42 am

Coach Todd Grantham ESCAPED the NFL before he was fired. His college specialty is giving the choke sign to kickers like any other ADULT would behave. He wants 6′2″ corners and don’t we all. But the NFL is full of Pro Bowl CBs 5′11″ and shorter. If you can play, you can play. Coach Grantham invented the wheel and is simply smarter than the rest of us.

National Champs

June 30th, 2011
5:51 am

if i am reading this correctly the top 3 corners in georgia will each go west to cross the state line and play for fine institutions in alabama. yes i know smith is a secret commit to saban but we’ve got holsey and jones will commit to us in july.

ps any dawgs fans going on that cruise ship with richt to honduras next summer? it’s obvious that your own coaches aren’t recruiting your own state. war eagle!

CapeDawg

June 30th, 2011
5:57 am

@National Champs (of cheating), I think Georgia’s recruiting is going fine for now. I do hope that Coach Grantham isn’t recruiting only combine superheroes like Marlon Brown and knows if a recruit can actually play the game.

RMikel58

June 30th, 2011
6:01 am

Jonathan its apparent that you havent really looked at all your options thorougly enough to know that Auburn will eventually go on Probation and not be on T.V. or go to any Bowls, Alabama will use you sparringly until youre a Junior possibly.
Did Auburn offer you more than a scholarship? Fast is great and quickness can help you to overcome mistakes on the field. But the “Thugs” at Auburn will start eventually ending up in jail and maybe thats what you like about going there. The Thug mentality, the Ganster lifestyle.
But nobody can tell you anything, youre being treated like a god on campus and its ballooned your head and you havent come off that cloud yet. But when you do come down youre gonna realize you made a huge mistake going to the state of alabama and all you were good for was helping either alabama or auburn rankings on recruiting.
Youre much more appreciated in your home state of georgia. Shouldve thought bout going to georgia more, prettier campus, great fans, good environment, and its your home state.
When a kid leaves his home state, to me its like being a traitor. I love Georgia so much that i’d never even move to get another job and all my kids have went to college in this state. I just feel that going to another state helps the state youre going to and it’s like spitting on the Georgia Flag when youre leaving.
I was so proud to be from georgia that when i joined the Marine Corps i wanted to be 1st in everything and proclaim to everybody i was a Georgia Kid.
I was in the top 5 in everything i did while in service, it was like me from Georgia against all the other states and i wanted everyone to know that kids from Georgia was exceptional. Somehow going to another college out of state is very bitter to me, its like youve gone on trhe otherside to beat us.
Sounds weird but thats because i have a higher loyalty to my state and i guess kids dont look at things the way i do now.

Archer

June 30th, 2011
6:23 am

Loyalty? RMike how do you expect Georgia recruits to be loyal to this state if Georgia isn’t recruiting them? Or they wait until someone like Dillon Lee has 25 offers and Georgia is number 25 and his older brother plays football for Georgia? Or be the last of 20 for Josh Holsey? So the Georgia recruits should just go ahead and all commit to Georgia without offers and then hope somebody in the football recruiting office wakes up before February?

Who cares (the original)

June 30th, 2011
6:25 am

UGA only want DB 6 feet or taller. Doesn’t make sense. DBs that size and can maintain the agility is really rare (the only good one I can think of is Charles Woodson) which is why they are moved to safety. Most DBs are 5-8 to 5-10. There D will suffer with thinking like that.

We will gladly take him on the flats

Go Jackets!!!

Fan of the game

June 30th, 2011
6:26 am

Seriously. People have time to write this stuff. Mike, thugs make good football players & that’s at every fine institution across these great united states. Don’t get mad bc Chizic gets his thugs ready to play better than Richt can. WDE!

SoGa Dawg

June 30th, 2011
6:37 am

In related news, while the rest of the SEC is recruiting …

Richt is trying to save the world and considering pawning off one of his Ford trucks

Bryan McClendon is hiding from TMZ so he won’t have to admit he made all that up about “being offered a job at another school” to convince the dummies in AD office to double the salary of the worst RB coach in college football history

Todd Grantham is taking CPR classes over the summer so he can use proper technique for this year’s Florida game

Who else? LMBO

Golden White

June 30th, 2011
6:40 am

This is a good looking recruit in my opinion . I hope that CPJ can close the deal on him .

Jacket Man

June 30th, 2011
6:53 am

Jonathan is a former teammate of Broderick Snoddy, the incoming Freshman speedster at GA Tech. They ran track and played football together at Carollton High. This isn’t to say the Yellow Jackets have the inside track at landing Jonathan, but it couldn’t hurt. ;)

GAMECOCKS BASEBALL CHAMPS 10,11

June 30th, 2011
6:57 am

Uga fans upset again get over it. When will u realize uga, will not get every recruit in ga.

BACK TO BACK CWS CAMPS

dawgfan

June 30th, 2011
7:03 am

I agree that UGA should look at this kid despite his less than “ideal” size. Could be something a little more than his size though that’s keeping an offer from being on the table, but who knows. As for GT getting him, sorry but CPJ can’t close in on recruits when he’s competing against the Bamas, Auburns, (insert any other legitimate program here). Tech fans love to use the term “his players” when defending CPJ’s recruiting, but the facts are that GT is winning recruiting wars with Tulsa, Tulane, Western Alabama, Valdosta State, etc. Go dawgs!

slydog

June 30th, 2011
7:12 am

Every UGA Fan just needs to be a bit more patient. Either CMR and his coaching staff will swim with the tide or sink and drown horribly. The worse case scenario here is: Does he keep his job going 9-3 or 10-2, maybe a lucky 11-1, then back to 9-3 and 8-4 here or there. My point being: the second most lucrative athletics department being stuck with a “good, moral man” without ever winning a National Title. Nothing is worse than being stuck in neutral. Unless Mcgarity starts showing some “impatience”, I think we will be stuck in neutral just like the past decade. However, after the CMR era is over, a better, more intense coach WILL take this job and we won’t have to settle for gambles(Chizik), castoofs( Roof), bagmen (TTaylor and Rocker), or one year wonders (Newton). No, I will not diss Newton. He took money just like Tebow, Brantley, and all the rest of the elite prospects.

Destin Dawg

June 30th, 2011
7:28 am

Hey !! I mean Awlbarn had 1 year with $cam Newton and ” Late Hit ” Fairley… probation is next !!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 30th, 2011
7:31 am

Could be more than we know? Don’t start the conspiracy crap about the young man. CTG very well could have told the young man that. That is the more likely scenario. Do I agree? Of course not, Tim Jennings was a damn good CB and he was 5′8. Give me a ball hawking corner and he could be 5′2. I think UGA better have some damn good CB’s this Fall or this 6′0 and over concept is going to look likes fools gold to many UGA fans.

Destin Dawg

June 30th, 2011
7:33 am

UGA does not have alot of scholarships to give this year… Richt is honest with the kids..

reebok

June 30th, 2011
7:34 am

MAN, I hope we get this guy…Go Jackets!

tiger7_88

June 30th, 2011
7:35 am

Hilarious, slydog. Why? Because the ORIGINAL “bag man” is the recruiting coordinator for your beloved school, one Mr. Rodney Garner.

Get over yourself. Oh, and kiss the ring.

Hal

June 30th, 2011
7:38 am

I bet he will end up at Tech. A 3.7 GPA and Tech are a natural fit.

Jacket Man

June 30th, 2011
7:45 am

dawgfan – you better check you facts before you start making (sic) comments you can’t support. The Yellow Jackets have already gotten commitments this season from guys who have been offered by UGA and Florida. Just because they get some players your team may not be focusing on doesn’t mean they aren’t good fits for GA Tech and exactly the kind of guys wanted/needed for the Yellow Jacket program.

I might conclude this comment by saying that I would take a three star player with heart, intelligence, leadership, and the desire to be a team player over any four or five star player coming into a program with an attitude, thinking they are better than everybody else, no discipline, not willing to work hard, not “intelligent,” and not a team player.

If strength was all it took to break something, then only big, burly, men would be trying to break those cinder blocks instead of these “smaller” martial artists who have mastered “techniques” who can not only break the blocks as well, but can sometimes do so more easily.

If brute strength was all it took to be a good fighter, then the “art” of boxing wouldn’t be as important to succeed in beating a larger opponent.

Give Paul Johnson those three star players and Mark Richt those four and five star players and I would like GA Tech’s chances every game.

NashGator

June 30th, 2011
7:47 am

Did you just say Tebow and John Brantley (3rd player legacy) took money? Why did you name UF QB’s? What a pathetic UGA fan.

NashGator

June 30th, 2011
7:54 am

BTW: LOL at UGA being raided by anyone and everyone that wants top players in their state. Also, lol at giving your RB coach a raise. He won’t develop Crowell, just like he didn’t Easley, Samuals, King, etc.. And lets not even speak of your pathetic and weak OL. Atleast you guys stole the mediocre guy from UAB to coach them up and save Richt’s job. He and Bobo should work their magic this year, while Richt is off on his “mission.”

Walker, Texas Ranger

June 30th, 2011
8:02 am

Is Georgia recruiting anyone? I hear Miss. St. more recently than I do Georgia.

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:05 am

Georgia Grad

June 30th, 2011
8:08 am

There has to be more to the no offer from Georgia than his height. The young man has one of the key basic ingredients every coach wants to sign – SPEED, and the GPA is a bonus. Not ideal size? Seems to me exceptional speed overcomes that.

IL Jacket

June 30th, 2011
8:08 am

Thank you CTG, keeping looking for mold players-we’ll take players like Jonathan all day long. Jonathan, you are a smart guy. Take your time, look around and I’m sure you will come to the realization that Tech will be the place for you. Don’t underestimate the value of the degree and a Tech degree will keep paying for your entire life. Congratulations on your success thus far. Looking forward to seeing you on the Old Gold and White.

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:10 am

Auburn fan posting at 7:35 that UGA has a pay plan for players is rich………Here’s a bet, you tube ” Pat Dye/Ramsey money and then youtube ANYTHING Georgia paying football players and see what comes up. Bottom line, Auburn…and Bama have been caught and punished for this, more than once.. Give me a link for Georgia doing the same please. I’ll wait.

TommyP

June 30th, 2011
8:12 am

It’s Georgia’s DB coach, Scott Lakatos, that wants the taller corners, not Grantham.

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:14 am

Yea Jonathan, talk to all the ex Tech football players working at Air Tran in baggage handling? What Firm is Reggie Ball with?

It Ain't Rocket Science

June 30th, 2011
8:15 am

The maority of these kids going for scholarships have the NFL in their mind already and therefore are going to go with the school in the lime light in a lot of cases. This will put TECH. at a disadvantage right from the start. If UGA were recruiting him they would also be at a disavantage.
For those of you critisizing the the defensive coach at UGA. If you can do better, apply for the job. Same goes for CMR. I guess it is just easier to make rude comments about coaches, kids and universities from behind a computer keyboard, but since you are no more qalified to coach at a major school than I would be, it is just so much B.S. The games will be played on the field and your omments and most likely your loyalties will change with the flow.
Good or bad, I will stick with my home team, and if changes need to be made, I will leave it up to the AD and his staff to make the right decisions. I can’t do their job any better there than you can.

Buzz ME

June 30th, 2011
8:15 am

Jonathan you are the type of person who will fit well at Tech. After your pro career a degree from Tech will be invaluable. Hope to be able to come watch you play. Best of luck to you

gt45

June 30th, 2011
8:15 am

Stay home so the local folk can come see you play! Old gold and white, baby!

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:16 am

My 8:10 post correction…..Auburn and Bama HAVE NOT been caught many times for PAYING players, but have been punished many times for breaking various NCAA rules. My bad.

Recruiting | MrSEC.com

June 30th, 2011
8:22 am

[...] the cornerback from Carrollton (Ga.) High School is quickly scheduling his visits for the summer.Jones received an offer from Auburn when he visited the Tigers earlier this month. He followed up that trip with a visit to Georgia [...]

rs

June 30th, 2011
8:23 am

UGA will get the players they need.Remember 25 players only.The AL>schools r going to have their own problems.The rumors r flying over there,just watch,its going to be fun!!!!!

Jacket Backer

June 30th, 2011
8:23 am

Would look good in White and Gold!

Go Jackets!!

Blue

June 30th, 2011
8:28 am

Yeah, Mike…because Auburn players go to jail and have legal problems and UGA doesn’t. Is that REALLY your argument, dude, from the school that won the “Fulmer Cup”???

The Bees Nees

June 30th, 2011
8:28 am

Come play for the Jackets down at the Flats!!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

June 30th, 2011
8:28 am

Rocket Science,

Well heaven for bid some of us would have a opinion on the situation. If you do not like the opinions expressed on a blog, which encourages opinions to be shared, both positive and negative, then go somewhere else. I do not think your holier than thou approach will work to much here.

tiger7_88

June 30th, 2011
8:32 am

@JB (8:10 AM) all I need to know is that when Garner was at Auburn, all the UGA fans referred to him as “The Bagman”. When Garner was at Tennessee, all the UGA fans referred to him as “The Bagman”. But when Garner starts working for UGA? PRAISE THE LORD! HE’S BEEN SAVED! HE’S NO LONGER “THE BAGMAN”! You pups and your utter hypocrisy are an endless source of amusement.

Oh, and I am also from Columbus GA, the hometown of one Mr. Don Leebern. The same Don Leebern who never earned a college degree but sits as a proud and distinguished member of the University of Georgia System Board of Regents. The same Don Leebern who, back in the day, provided “summer jobs” to UGA football players. They’d arrive in Columbus on a bus and leave Columbus in a nice, shiny new Chevrolet Camaro or Pontiac Firebird. Nice “work” for a summer if you can get it… and you could ALWAYS get it as a UGA football player back in the day, brother.

Oh, but I’m sure that you have NO DOUBT that Garner and Leebern have changed their ol’ cheatin’ ways, right? Hilarious how pathetically naive you are.

Oh, and one more time… kiss the ring. Have a nice day. :-)

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:37 am

Auburn leads the nation in # of times on probation. That about says it all.

1eyedJack

June 30th, 2011
8:41 am

UGA signed a boatload of DBs and “athletes” last year. I think UGA’s focus this year should be on linemen. Maybe take 1 or 2 DBs.

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:41 am

From 8;32 Auburn post….. I would not be naive enough to think that there have never been any wrong doings at UGA when it comes to football…………But, all you say is “talk” and not documented with the NCAA and certainly with the picture you have painted would have been discovered………..Now, you rant about cars for players At UGA is nothing but a misdirection from you to move the spot light away from your beloved tigers, who have a DOCUMENTED history of CAUGHT trouble with the NCAA. Prove one thing you wrote and we’ll listen. And you can’t. Good ole boy here say and dribble.

1eyedJack

June 30th, 2011
8:42 am

A “bagman” can’t deliver money he don’t have.

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:44 am

The ring by the way, is made from “fools gold”.

JB

June 30th, 2011
8:46 am

One more comment on Auburn. I will tip my hat that the players did win it on the field. It was impressive.

Dawg Trainer

June 30th, 2011
8:46 am

This is why Richt is on the same path as Fulmer. I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Jonathan to Knoxville, TN. Speed kills, and you can take the same path to the NFL Eric Berry did. Play corner as a freshman and as your body matures, move to FS.

DC

June 30th, 2011
8:48 am

“Prove one thing and we’ll listen”..I think thats been our (AU) phrase during the whole Cam saga….thought that was kinda funny..

PS these debates wont solve anything…sometimes I wish people would focus on 2011 and leave 2010 in the past..unless things come up mind you..

65 days until start of the season and we are talking about 2010 drama that no new evidence has shown its face…

PSS AU will get bunch of good recruits b/c of the title..it happens at every school each year…AU’s 2012 class is going to be legit!