So far only one school has started to recruit 2013 Woodruff High cornerback Darius Jones. That should change very soon. The 5'10 1/2 175 pound prospect put together an impressive sophomore season last year for coach Brian Lane's Wolverines. Jones has good size, strong cover skills, and great speed already with 2 more seasons of high school ball to go, that's why he's "UP NEXT" with SCPrepNation.com.
This summer Jones did plenty of work on his own and with his Woodruff teammates he says. After making a deep run in the AA playoffs last season the Wolverines are primed to make a run at a state title with plenty of key components returning like Jones at cornerback.
"This summer I worked hard on improving my hitting ability. I'm a pretty solid tackler but I need to get bigger so I can bring the force when I tackle someone to make them think twice about catching the ball."
Reviewing his sophomore season highlights Jones confirmed what we already knew about his strengths and talents on the field.
"I think my coverage ability, jamming wide receivers, and getting the ball at its highest point are my biggest strengths right now. I am really good at the jam, sometimes the wide receivers don't get off the line or I push them into other wide receivers."
Jones told us about the numbers he put up as a sophomore too as well as his best game last season.
"I had 60 tackles, 4 interceptions, a kick return for a touchdown, 10 pass break ups, 1 forced fumble, and I had a 108 yard interception return but it was called back."
"Well my best game of the year was game three against Chesnee High School. I had 9 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 pass breakups, caused and recovered a fumble, and 1 interception. The most memorable part is we were up big on them and they started to come back and it was 42-22 and they were driving with the ball. I was at safety and I had a feeling they were going deep to Dejohn Rowland and I played it and got an interception to close the game out."
As mentioned before Jones is only hearing from one school so far, Duke University. He also didn't attend any camps this off season. Looking at his work from last year on the field along with his testing measurables it's easy to see Jones is under the radar for now but we expect that all to change once word starts to get out about his skills.
One thing that has helped Jones has been the talent he faces on the field against some of Woodruff's opponents but also work in practice against his own teammate, 2014 wide receiver Blake Bone.
"I would have to say Dejohn Rowland, Casey Gladney, and also Blake Bone my own teammate are the toughest wideouts I faced last season."
Having Bone, who is one of the state's top 2014 prospects already, to go against everyday is something Jones and his coach says only will make both prospects that much better.
"Well I tell u Blake is the best wide receiver. I mean I love facing him in practice everyday because its not too many teams that have a Blake Bone and as he gets bigger I expect him to get even better too. Like coach Lane says, 'if you can stick him you can stick anybody.'"
Jones was quick to tell us what his goals are for the Wolverines this season with so much talent returning.
"Win out in the regular season and then win state. It's been about 27 years since we won the state game and my Wolves are coming for it this year!"
The 2013 cornerback says he's looking forward to the season and especially a matchup with Union County High School which features the state's top 2013 quarterback prospect, Keiston Smith along with 2013 wide receivers Victor Ruth and Kalay Jones.
"My personal goals are that I want to lead the state in interceptions and pass break ups. I'd also like to lead the state in punt return yards (average)."
Jones likes Duke obviously being the only school he's heard from thus far but he told us about what other schools he'd like to hear from soon as well.
After Jones told us about his testing measurables (listed below) don't be surprised to see those schools and plenty more in pursuit of him this season if he has another strong showing.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS...DARIUS JONES
Bench press: 240 pounds
Squat: 405 pounds
Power clean: 240 pounds
Fastest 40: 4.31 seconds
Pro Shuttle: 3.92 seconds
Broad Jump: 10'1"
SCPrepNation.com and the Scout.com team will continue to track Darius Jones as he projects to be a highly sought after cornerback prospect over the next two seasons. Keep it locked right here for more news and updates with Jones moving forward!
NOTE: Jones and the Wolverines will scrimmage Byrnes this week and Jones says he's looking forward to competing against 2013 WR Akia Booker as well as WR Greg McHam.