On Tuesday, Littleton High School runningback, Mister Jones, became the second verbal commitment to the Colorado Buffaloes' 2010 recruiting class, filling a future void for the team as they continue to add depth for years down the line. When you look at the offensive breakdown at running back for 2009 and project it into 2010, the Buffs will have Demetrius Sumler as a senior and the trio of Darrell Scott, Rodney Stewart and Brian Lockridge as juniors. Considering that and the fact that Mister Jones will probably redshirt to add size and adjust to college academically, this is a good fit.
Here is a look at the numbers from each of the recruiting services and where they have Jones ranked:
|Mister Jones According to the Recruiting Sites
|Class of 2010 - Littleton High School (Colorado)
|75 (out of 100)
|National Rank as RB
|Other Schools Interested
|Tennessee, Nebraska, Colorado State, Wyoming, Kansas State, Cal
The numbers might not jump off the page at you but there is a little more to the story on Jones and how he is difficult to evaluate. First of all, the last two seasons, Jones has endured some ankle injuries that caused him to miss a few games as a sophomore and five as a junior. Jones also pulled a hamstring in the season opener last season causing him to miss most of the second half after carrying the ball 5 times for 140 yards. If you have had an ankle injury before you also know that it stays with you for a while so it is reasonable to think that we haven't seen the best from Jones yet. Even though Jones played in only six full games last year and only carried the ball 79 times according to MaxPreps, he nearly reached the 1,000 yard mark, totaling 951 yards for an impressive 12.04 yards per carry average. Scout.com notes that Jones has rushed for more than 2,400 yards and 27 touchdowns in 16 games over the past two seasons, missing a significant stretch during his junior year with a high ankle sprain.
Jones' Littleton team plays in the 4A class, the second highest in the state of Colorado as his team went 8 - 3 last year. When Jones was in the lineup, his team went 5 - 1 outscoring opponents 277 - 77 (only loss was after a 5 game layoff from injury in the first round of the playoffs). When Jones wasn't in the lineup, his team went 3 - 2 and was outscored 105 - 125. You can argue that the opponents in the first five games were not of the level of the last five but anytime you remove 12.04 a touch from the lineup, you can expect a drop off across the board.
Because of the injuries, Jones is a little bit of a wild card coming into his senior season. When he has played, he has done outstanding things but talent evaluators want to see a full body of work and I am sure the Littleton coaching staff would like to have Jones in for the entire year as well. If the future Buff runningback can make it through this year without any leg injuries, we can rest assured that these are just fluke incidents and not a trend.
He is considered a physically gifted back but many feel that he has room to add on weight which will ultimately increase his durability at the next level. I think if he can get up to 210 - 215 which his frame should allow and remain healthy his senior year, Jones will be on track to come into Boulder and contribute early.
Clearly, Jones has the ability to be a special back if he is healthy but I also think the Buffs are going to get a pretty mature person. According to scout.com's player profile, Jones is the oldest of five children and is considered a father figure to his siblings. One of the main reasons he signed with Colorado was to stay by his family as his mother is battling cancer.
Here are some links from around the web on Mister Jones after the jump...
Mister Jones, based on last week's scout.com release, was ranked the 8th best player in the state of Colorado and the overall top ranked running back. Again, I expect these rankings to be increased if Jones can stay healthy and dominate like he did at the beginning of his junior season.
Despite the injuries last season and only playing half of the season, he still garnered season ending awards. Jones was named honorable mention All-State and second team Class 4A Metro North. Leading up to the 2008 season, Jones was deemed by the Rocky Mountain News as one of the few "players to watch" coming into the 4A season, a title that he will surely receive going into this senior season and if he stays healthy, he has all of the ability to grab an All-Colorado selection.
Jones has a good blend of size and speed when projecting as a college back. Is tall, well-built but is still very long and lean. Will need to fill out his narrow base and overall frame to retain his current yards after contact at the next level and remain durable. Shows good urgency out of his stance and quickness to the hole for a bigger back. Most productive as a one-cut-and-go, north-south runner. Shows better-than-adequate acceleration when he plants and hits the downhill seam. Can hit the cutback decisively but has a tendency to take wasted lateral steps which hinders his speed and power. Difficult to arm-tackle when his larger frame gains momentum through the second level. Breaks a lot of initial contact when he squares up quickly out of his cuts and runs behind his pads. Flashes good speed in the second level for his size; has a longer, smoother stride and a sneaky extra gear. Our main concern when projecting for the next level is that we do not see the in-line power, explosiveness, or durability to carry the load at this time in a downhill scheme. Not a natural pick and slide zone type of runner with good lateral agility as well. Will need to spend some early time in a college weight training program to work on adding bulk, strength and power, particularly through his hips and lower-body. That said, we like Jones' upside as an every down, slashing back if his body can continue to physically develop. Has good physical tools to work with. May get a look on defense at linebacker with his good size, range and athleticism.
-(Littleton high school's) number one threat is Mister Jones.
-Littleton’s standout running back, Mister Jones, finished with 130 yards rushing, aided by runs of 47, 17 and 21 yards in the second half.
-It didn't end after halftime, either, as Littleton's Mister Jones used the second play of the third quarter for a 52- yard touchdown run. Jones, who rushed for 140 yards on only five carries, pulled his hamstring on the play and left for the remainder of the game.
-Littleton junior Mister Jones is one of the elite running backs in Class 4A, and he has been chewing up yardage at a monstrous rate. Yet Jones isn't the only Lions player who boasts a healthy appetite for big plays and gaudy numbers. Jones entered the game ranked third in Class 4A in rushing, with 486 yards, and though he played sparingly after being ill much of the week, he still recorded two long touchdown runs, including a 94-jaunt. Jones finished the game with 178 yards rushing that he tallied on only six carries.
Jones also has some track talent, with 100 meter numbers being report at 11.0 seconds. The Longmont Times has an article where he ran a 11.30 but I have yet to find the meet where he ran 11.0 seconds. Jones supposedly runs a 4.5 forty. Jones also the 60 meter dash in 7.2 seconds, good for 5th in the Air Force Invitational High School meet.