Add him to the list of great names in 2013 with Tuley-Tillman and Butt.
An Interview With Jaron Dukes
Columbus (OH) Marion-Franklin WR Jaron Dukes may have grown up deep in enemy territory, but he's a lifelong Michigan fan. His childhood favorites extended a scholarship offer on signing day and the Wolverines immediately jumped to the forefront of his recruitment. The 6'5", 200-pound junior also holds an offer from Toledo and has interest from several prominent Midwest schools, but other suitors might have to hurry if they want a say before he makes a decision. I talked to Jaron last night and he made it very clear which team leads for him in a big way:
ACE: How is everything going with your recruitment, and which schools are going after you the hardest right now?
JARON: Everything's going great. I'm starting to hear from Ohio State, all of a sudden I'm starting to hear a lot more from Michigan, Michigan State, and I'm getting letters from Nebraska now and Illinois.
ACE: You got your Michigan offer recently. What was your reaction to that and what are your thoughts on the school and the program?
JARON: Ecstatic. (laughs) I'm going up there for a visit on Friday. When I first got the offer my mind was blown.
ACE: I know you're coming out of Columbus. Did you grow up as a Michigan fan or were you an Ohio State guy?
JARON: I was a Michigan fan all my life. I got a lot of criticism, you know, being a Michigan fan in Ohio.
ACE: Is that going to play a factor at all when it comes down to making a decision?
JARON: I think I kind of have my mind set on where I want to go. I think all I can do is pray on it and make sure, hope I make the right decision.
ACE: You said you've got your mind set on it. In terms of a timeline, when do you think you're going to make that decision?
JARON: I'm not sure. I'd like to talk it over with my coaches and everything and make sure that's what I really want to do—[see if I should] visit the college more than once, see it in different environments like dorm food, after school, and on weekends, make sure that's where I officially want to be, and do the same for other schools.
ACE: How did your junior season go and what kind of numbers did you put up?
JARON: I thought my junior season went very well. I didn't know it was going to be that good. My freshman year my coaches always said "you can't catch a cold," and I dropped everything that came towards me. Other than that, I think it went very well. I had 663 or 673 yards, 18.5 yards per catch, 36 catches, and seven touchdowns.
ACE: If you had to evaluate your game, what would say are your biggest strengths on the field and what are you trying to work on for your senior year and beyond?
JARON: My biggest strengths are being able to read the secondary, keeping a level head, going out there and having fun and being able to go out and catch, just catch the ball. I would love to get faster. They keep telling me speed kills, so I want to be the fastest one out there. I want to be the fastest one on the field.
ACE: I know it sounds like you're leaning towards Michigan right now, but in terms of when it comes down to making your choice, what are you looking for in a school specifically?
JARON: Academics, somewhere where I can be happy. The technique of the game, if they're a passing team, if they're going to pass me the ball when it's there or if they're just going to keep running the ball. Somewhere where it just feels right.
ACE: Moving off the field, what's one thing you'd want people to know about you that has nothing to do with football?
JARON: (laughs) Oh, man, I don't really know. I draw a lot. I love music. I like sitting—sometimes I just like being by myself and just relaxing.
ACE: What kind of music?
JARON: I listen to all types of music. Country, rock, metal, rap, R&B. The funny thing is, a lot of times, I don't like the new generation of rap now.
ACE: I'm with you there. I like the old school stuff, but the new stuff isn't really my thing.
JARON: Yeah, it's not mine, either.
Sort of reminds me of Marques Colston. Not game changing speed, but seems to have great arm extesnion, and runs crisp routes. That's the one thing I hate about the SEC, there's way too much emphasis put on speed, and not enough put on technique and hands. That's why you have so many SEC WR's bust in the NFL. Because when they get there, their speed isn't so game changing anymore, because they can't run a proper NFL caliber out route.
Speed can make a difference if you have a QB with great accuracy down the field. But, I'll take a guy with great hands, runs excellent routes, and has great timing with his leaps for the ball any day. I hope this kid has all those qualities.
Great interview Ace. It definitely sounds like Dukes has a huge possibility of being in Michigan's class of 2013.
Routes look a little sloppy - but he is a big guy who should be a.good fit for the Borges jump ball offense.
This is off-topic, but falls under the umbrella of "recruiting," so figured I'd share here in the absence of a better option: interesting article on the correlations of coaching, recruiting, and success worth a read http://winthropintelligence.com/digest/2011/05/31/football-recruiting-performance.html
Back on topic: I could get on board with having a 6'5" reciever on the team. Especially if he has hops like Hemingway
Just to clarify, what does "old school stuff" mean to Ace and Jaron?
We probably have different views on that. I'm going mid-to-late 90s (and yes, I realize that's not "old school" to many, but I was talking to a high schooler)—early Nas and Jay-Z, Outkast, Gang Starr, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth, all that good stuff. I like a fair amount of the relatively recent rap, too, but the Soulja Boy revolution in popular rap music really was unfortunate. Same with guys with a ton of potential like Lil' Wayne (Tha Carter II was great) and Drake (his early mixtapes were solid) going for record sales and putting out garbage the last few years. I can't speak for Jaron there, though.
new generation??? ace, you're barely a generation old!
I'm just excited about the new generation of Ace i.e. adding in tidbits of personality, hobbies, etc. on the players. Don't get me wrong, I come here for the sport-related info but a little bit extra is nice too. Great work, Ace, way to spread your wings!
Funny, I thought groups like N.W.A. were way before that, when in fact, "Straight Outta Compton" was from 1990.
I'm not as old as I want to be, I guess.
Still, get off my lawn.
The early through mid 90s, when Wu reigned supreme.
Saw them live at Rock the Bells a couple summers ago—those guys can still put on a fantastic show. Also caught Method Man when he came to the Blind Pig back when I was in college, and he was great as a solo act, too. Not sure how he pulled that off, since his post-Tical albums have been awful, but his stage presence is ridiculous—helped that he was doing a lot of stuff off Blackout, I think, even though Redman wasn't there.
Wu and Rage Against the Machine toured back in 98 or so(I think) and I must say that a quarter of my brain cells died that night at that show.
Agreed on early-mid 90's.....best.
I coach high school football, and a lot of times old school is like Snoop, Jay-Z, Eminem just because they have been around a while. Either that, or nothing with a voice synthesizer. How times have changed.
I love this kids potential! Such a big body, and he seems to attack the ball when catching it, rather than waiting for the ball to come to him. It could be exciting to watch this one in the redzone!!!
Is really good...saw him play last year. He reminds me of Junior a little, actually. He is definitely a top 20 player in OH, in my mind.
"I like sitting."
I have a feeling you and I would be very good friends, Jaron.
I like him. He recognizes today's rappers are unfit to carry Chuck D. or Eric B.'s jock strap. Smart kid, and wise beyond his years.
Jaron Dukes reminds me of Darryl Stonum, not the same top end speed, but they look awfully similar on a football field.
I don't see the Darryl Stonum comparison at all, but maybe that's just me.
He looks pretty athletic for a 6'5" kid. I wonder if he has the frame to put on TE weight.
I suppose a lot would depend on need....would we rather have a TE or a WR with TE height and WR speed? I like how he says he wants to be the fastest kid on the field. (Good thing he wouldn't be playing next year...he'd be fighting for second place every time DRob is on the field.)
6'5" 236 sounds good
Now if he can run a 4.4 40 with that... damn
Hope he commits. Great size for a wideout and he looks like a good athlete.
Does anyone else find it as satisfying, or even moreso, that he's from Columbus and growing up a Michigan fan? As opposed to a kid that we flipped during his recruitment? I admire his convictions and so excited to see a kid with that level of dedication wearing Maize and Blue.
Living here in Cbus, it is surprising how many Michigan fans there are. Definitely a small number, but considering the fanaticism down here, more than you would expect.
Like Jaron, I grew up outside of Cbus (Pickerington) as a UM fan. My experience was a little bit different though since it was during the Cooper era. The suckeye fanatics were no where near as annoying as they are today. Your general non-true sportsfans could not care less about OSU. Now that they had some success, EVERYONE jumped on the wagon. Way too many uninformed fanatics running around that town nowadays.
Also, I never had any trouble finding fellow UM fans back in the day. I haven't lived there for over ten years, so I would be curious to know how prevalent UM fans are nowadays.
This kid is gonna keep Tacopants from catching another ball.
I like this kid a lot and I think he has a lot of potential. To me, it looked like he's someone who is still growing into his body. I don't know how much he's grow recently, but I think he can get stronger and that'll help him become faster and more crisp in running routes. He's very raw right now, and while he may play immediately with that size, I think he'd benefit greatly with a redshirt. I think he'll be a beast either way.
And I obviously love guys with a passion for Michigan who grew up in Ohio.
"I like sitting."
Hmmm, I also like sitting. I got a lot in common with these kids.
I'd take him.
Autotune: rap : : Jaron Dukes:Tacopants
Obviously this is a reach, but a Maize Megatron would be excellent. Good writeup Ace.
"You can't catch a cold." His holding on to that means a kid who took that as a challenge and wants to keep learning and getting better.
It was a small sample size, but he goes up and catches the ball with his hands nicely. He could be a huge asset in the redzone. Most teams dont have corners that compete with that size in the endzone!