Jones on his visit last weekend. [Isaiah Hole/247]
It's not all bad on the recruiting front for Michigan. In the midst of a disappointing February, the 2019 class gained a much-needed offensive lineman last night when Loganville (GA) Grayson four-star Trente Jones announced his commitment on Twitter. Jones picked up his Michigan offer in January, and despite being pursued by a good chunk of the SEC, he didn't feel the need to wait long after visiting Ann Arbor last weekend:
A long list of schools have offered Jones and he has taken numerous visits, but none compared to the one in Ann Arbor.
“Michigan is the perfect fit for me. I love the atmosphere and I can honestly say that this is the first school that I felt at home.
“The environment was family friendly and I felt as if I could talk to anyone. It was just like home.”
Jones is Michigan's fifth commitment in the class and the second on the offensive line, joining Nolan Rumler, though the commitment of top-100 DE Stephen Herron is reportedly shaky at best. (I've added a flip pick to Stanford for him.)
|3*, 5.7, #35 OT||
4*, 81, #19 OT,
3*, 88, #46 OT,
4*, #36 OT,
ESPN is the most bullish on Jones; unfortunately, they haven't actually written up a scouting report yet, so we don't know why they consider him a solid four-star instead of a high three-star like the other two sites. Jones did move up in the Rivals position rankings in their recent re-rank and he's only four spots away from the last four-star OT; he's nine position ranks behind the last four-star on 247.
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Jones has the look of a potential swing lineman; he's listed at either 6'5" (Rivals, ESPN) or 6'6" (247) and somewhere between 282 and 295 pounds. He could be a guard or a tackle at the collegiate level, though there's a chance he grows into a pure tackle prospect. Rivals made note of his long arms when naming him one of the top underclassmen at last spring's Rivals-only Atlanta camp:
Jones’ potential is apparent. He is a long-armed tackle with impressive technique that will become more of a recruiting commodity as he adds size and strength going forward. He was impressive and managed to win reps against more developed prospects by setting his feet and extending his arms. There’s plenty in store for him down the road.
At that time, he didn't hold any offers, but power conference programs were already sniffing around. By the start of his junior year, when Scout's Greg Powers called him one of the top ten players to take part in the Battle of the Border—a showcase of actual high school games, so this isn't a camp report—some of those programs had already moved on him:
The big 6-foot-5, 300-pound right tackle is a mauler. He forms a formidable set of bookends with classmate Wanya Morris. Jones is a weight mover as he is pushing back the line of scrimmage all day long. He also got him some pancakes. He will likely move inside to guard in college He already has Power Five conference offers from Florida, Indiana Kentucky, Louisville, and Oregon State.
As mentioned above, Jones bookends Grayson's line with top-50 overall prospect Wanya Morris. According to 247's Steve Lorenz, some people close to the program think Jones has greater potential:
As I posted last week, there are some (including one I trust very much) who have covered the Grayson program that believe Jones has a higher ceiling than Top100 prospect Wanya Morris, a prospect with a much more national profile.
The mauler aspect really comes through in Jones' film. If Michigan can land some pure tackle prospects, I think he'd fit really well at guard, though his length and technique will make him a strong candidate to play on the outside, too.
Jones holds offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Louisville, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Rutgers, and Vanderbilt, among others. Alabama, Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State are among the programs to show interest without extending a scholarship offer.
Grayson has emerged as one of Georgia's foremost football powers, producing the likes of Robert Nkemdiche, Jamyest Williams, and Deangelo Gibbs in recent years with a lot more talent coming down the pipeline. Jones wasn't the only top Grayson 2019 prospect on campus last weekend; he was accompanied by four-star safety Kenyatta Watson. Michigan running back Kurt Taylor played his last year of high school ball there, as well.
OL, no stats.
FAKE 40 TIME
Jones's Hudl page lists an unverified but rather specific 5.06-second 40 time, which I'll give three FAKEs out of five. Of greater note is his claimed 275-pound bench press and 430-pound squat.
Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Based on recent recruiting and roster construction, I'd expect Jones to get a shot at tackle when he arrives on campus. After a likely redshirt year, he could be right in the mix for a spot on the two-deep in competition with Andrew Stueber, James Hudson, Chuck Filiaga, Jalen Mayfield, and perhaps Ryan Hayes, along with any other OTs taken in the 2019 class. Four of those players will have to form the two-deep on each side in 2020 barring a transfer of some sort, and given recent history I'm not ready to rule out anyone.
Jones' long-term upside may be higher at guard, where he could also be a factor when Ben Bredeson and Mike Onwenu graduate. I'm a fan of both his potential and his versatility.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
It adds a potential tackle, which is quite nice. It's too early in the cycle to type out the full list of top targets; 247 has you covered there. Here's the class as it currently stands: