As he mulled over his final list of schools on Tuesday — Iowa, Maryland, Toledo and Wisconsin — Jones briefly considered delaying his decision until October, after his planned official visit to the Madison campus. Yet, the more Jones thought about it, the more he realized that he’d seen all he needed to see.
Along with striking up a strong relationship with Badgers wide receivers coach Chris Beatty, Jones consistently heard rave reviews about the program from Stags teammate Taiwan Deal, who committed to Wisconsin in June.
On Wednesday morning, Jones acted on his gut and pledged to play for Wisconsin next season in a video posted on DeMatha’s new football website.
“I felt like it was the school that showed me the most love since the day they offered,” Jones said in a Wednesday phone interview. “When I talked with my family about college and what my vision was, I realized that Wisconsin was the right place for me to go.”
Jones is the fifth DeMatha senior to commit to a Football Bowl Subdivision this year and the third to join the Big Ten, following in the footsteps of Deal and Penn State recruit Mark Allen.
After Wisconsin first extended an offer to Jones in April, the 6-foot-3, 194-pound wideout met Beatty three weeks later during a visit by the assistant coach to DeMatha. The encounter sparked a bond that’s seen Beatty consistently check on Jones via phone, text, social media and through DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks.
Jones’s affinity for Wisconsin was strengthened after Deal returned from a summer visit to the Madison campus full of excitement.
“He told me how great it was, and how I’m going to like it,” Jones recalled. “Even though I already had a great relationship with the coaches, it made me want to go there even more.”
In Jones, the Badgers landed a physical receiver who can stretch the field with his speed and big-play ability. Jones has also shown efficiency in the run game, turning reverse plays into long gains for the Stags.
“They were real excited when I called them with the news because they feel like I’m a great fit for their offense they are running,” Jones said. “They said they want to spread it out more and pass it, and that I was the big receiver they need to stretch the field.”
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