In the fast-paced world of college recruiting... hasty decisions are sometimes made. That's what happened early on in the recruitment of Rochester (NY) Aquinas Institute defensive tackle Jarron Jones. The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder was overwhelmed when perennial Big Ten power Penn State put on its full-court recruiting press. A memorable visit last winter combined with a strong connection with the Nittany Lions staff caused him to jump at the chance to verbally commit. His family told him he should have looked harder before he leaped.
"To be honest with you, Jarron kind of made that decision without discussing it with me and his father," said Jones' mother, Lakiescha Titus-Jones. "Like we tried to tell him, it is OK to feel the way you felt about Penn State, but what we tried to make him do is not to commit and (instead) just list his top five, six, or seven. He just wanted to let Penn State know it was No. 1. There is nothing to not like about Penn State, but I want him to make an educated decision. He hasn't seen places like Michigan. He hasn't seen places like Notre Dame. He hasn't seen Louisville, North Carolina, or really even Syracuse."
So, Jarron is indeed a very soft commit to PSU. Here's what he says about Michigan:
"They are one of the great and winningest colleges in all of college football," said Jones. "I enjoy watching them on Saturday and they are in the Big Ten. The Big Ten is an excellent conference. I know they struggled last year because of injury, but they have Denard Robinson."
And here's what his mom says about where she wants his priorities to be:
"(Academics) are to me more important than him even playing football," Titus-Jones stated emphatically. "Football has granted him the opportunity, but what I make him understand is you can't do one without the other. The most important thing is, is it a good educationally structured system and just a good school where he also feels comfortable? If I have to travel 10 hours and make it a weekend trip (to that school), then I have to make it a weekend trip because I have to do what's best for my son. That's the No. 1 priority. It is not just about being close to home. It is about him being comfortable and them being a good institution. I want him to have a good degree. I do have to know that I am turning him over to someone that is going to make him the best man, then the best student, and then the best athlete he can be. With that, whatever else is gravy. Is the NFL in the future? If that is what God says, let it be. That is not our prize and that's not our goal. Our goal is for him to have a degree in his hand and for him to be a man of honor and of valor."
Expect a more measured approach to Jones' final selection with multiple visits to candidate schools.
"Right now, we are scheduled to see North Carolina on Memorial Day weekend," reported Jones' mother. "The last part of June we are going to see Michigan and Notre Dame. The last part of July, we are going to see Louisville and we may squeeze someone in along that way. We are definitely going to go back to Syracuse, which is right up the road."
"After the season is over, that's when I'll probably start taking officials," added [Jarron] Jones. "My official decision won't be until I sign the papers (on signing day, Feb. 1, 2012), or until the Army (All American) game if I choose to make my decision there."
Sounds like mom is back in control of this Process.