July 15, 2010
Cayleb Jones gets a look at A&M
Austin, Texas receiver Cayleb Jones had a sophomore season for the ages in 2010, catching 91 passes for 1,158 yards and nine touchdowns. His production alone was enough to turn the heads of college recruiters everywhere but when you factor in his bloodlines (he is the son of former Dallas Cowboy and Miami Dolphins linebacker Robert Jones), it's easy to see why many observers project him to be the number one player in the class of 2012.
As a result, Jones is already drawing enormous interest from college coaches with verbal offers from Baylor, East Carolina, Iowa State, Miami, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Tulsa. He's even started visiting various programs to kick off the recruiting process and his most recent visit was to Texas A&M this past Sunday. Jones and his parents talked to every coach on Mike Sherman's staff as well as assistant athletic director Tim Cassidy and grad assistant Jeff Wood. He spent most of his time with receivers' coach Steve Kragthorpe and Wood.
"I did an unofficial visit," 6 foot, 2-inch, 191-lb. Jones who watched but did not participate in the Aggies' one day camp. "I came down in the morning with my dad and my mom. My tour guide was Jeff Fuller. He's cool. We rode around on a golf cart and he showed us the campus and the locker room. I met all of coaches and kind of did the whole nine yards. I watched the coaches a little bit at camp and I talked to Ryan Swope a while," he said. "I've played basketball with them. I've known Louie and Ryan a good bit. They told me good things about A&M."
"I didn't know anything about College Station or about A&M but when I went down there I fell in love with it. It's a nice place. They have a pro offense. I think the pro style offense attracts me. I eventually want to be in the NFL. A&M impressed me because I didn't know what to expect. I liked that it's a college town. They started 18 freshman last year and they stressed early playing time. They said the best players would play regardless of whether they were freshman or not."
In addition, Jones had a meeting with the academic people at A&M.
"They stressed graduating early," said Jones. "They are open as to whatever you will major in. They can help you out when you graduate. They help you look up ex-Aggies or students that can help you in that profession. That was pretty cool."
What did the former NFL player think of ex-Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman and A&M?
"My parents loved it," he said. "They think I can get a good college experience away from home but still be close. They liked Mike Sherman a lot."
Jones has also been to a few other places this spring and summer. He took in Texas' spring game and visited Miami and North Carolina after he got out of school.
"My dad knows Randy Shannon (head coach at Miami)," said Jones. "He was his linebacker coach with the Dolphins. We were in North Carolina for a wedding and stopped by there. Dad was coached by Butch Davis in Dallas."
"We pretty much hit everything. We checked out their facilities. We had an academic meeting with Shannon as he took us on a campus tour. It's a private school with a 11:1 ratio of students to professors. The coolest thing about their academic program is that a couple of weeks a year your professor goes to practice and meetings so that they can understand the players' work load. Of course Miami has put several people in the pros too."
"North Carolina was a nice visit but it's not one of my favorites. It's my perfect image of a college to me. It's more of an all around athletic school and not a football school. My dad's strength coach at East Carolina was at North Carolina. I enjoyed every part of it and they got to a bowl game. My mom had a lot of family up there. I want to try to go see a game this fall there."
Jones indicated that he is pretty much done for visits this summer. He wants to start focusing down on his junior campaign but he may make time for some trips.
"I think we are going to games at Texas and A&M," he said. "My cousin plays for Auburn. I want to try to go see him play. I think he loves it and he wants me to go there badly but I'm trying to go a different way. If we have an opportunity to get down to Miami for a game we will but were not sure about that."
It has been reported that Jones will make an early decision on where he wants to go play college ball, perhaps as soon as Sept. 1. However, Jones may be backing off of that for now.
"We (he and his parents) go back and forth," he said. "I don't know if we could commit early. Some days I want to do it but it's too unstable right now to make any decision."
Jones currently has a top three with one school seemingly way out in front.
"Miami by far," he said. "I know coach Shannon. We used to live there and I kind of want to get back there. Miami, Texas, and Texas A&M are my top three."
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