Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State
Every day in practice last week, Chris Jones played against three players who will be his teammates next year, offensive linemen Jake Thomas, Kent Flowers and Deon Mix.
"It was a good feeling going against your future teammates," said Jones.
Not only was it fun, but it was a bit of a shock to go against players of their caliber.
"The first day (of practice) was kind of shocking because I wasn't used to playing against guys bigger than me and as fast as me," said the four-star recruit. "I had to make quick adjustments."
Playing against Thomas, Flowers and Mix had Jones prepared to faced the state of Alabama's premier offensive tackle, Austin Golson, the 11th ranked offensive tackle in the nation and the 2nd best in the entire southeast.
"I really didn't have to make any adjustments against him," said Jones. "I just stuck to my gameplan and used my techniques."
And it worked because Jones played so well in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game he earned Mississippi's Most Valuable Player Award.
Up next for him is the January 5th Under Armour Game, a game that will have seven offensive tackles that are ranked among Scout.com's top 24, including the 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 24th best tackles. Jones plans on being ready for the challenge.
"I will prepare for it just like I prepare for any game," he said. "I will work on my techniques. You can't ever get too good with your techniques. I'm also going to try and get faster."
One other thing that Jones plans on working hard to improve is using his hands more. He's so athletic and fast and quick, he's been able to beat his opponents without using his hands that much.
"Coach (Judd) Boswell, the Mississippi (All-Star) defensive line coach, tried to get me to use my hands more," said Jones. "But I keep forgetting to use my hands because I try to go fast and make a quick move."
Because of his outstanding play during the Mississippi practices and the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, Jones has seen his recruitment pick up.
"I talked to a couple of college coaches after the game but they really can't call me because it's a dead week right now," said Jones. "The Ole Miss coach came in after the game. The Auburn and Tennessee coaches talked to me at the game. Auburn said they like the way I play.
"Alabama told me that they would like to offer me a scholarship but they haven't offered yet. The Florida Gators coach contacted me through a Facebook message. He told me he can't call me but he gave me his number and said he needed to get in touch with me."
The additional attention has caught Jones by surprise. But it's been fun to him as well.
"This has all been shocking," said Jones, who added a fourth star to his Scout.com profile thanks to his outstanding play in practice and the all-star game. "It's been fun, too, but that depends on how you handle it."
Despite all the new recruiting attention, Jones remains loyal to the first school that offered him and the school that he has been committed to for a little over six months, Mississippi State.
"I am still solid with Mississippi State," said Jones.
He's going to show that loyalty by recruiting for Mississippi State when he gets to Orlando, Florida for the Under Armour practices and game.
"I plan on recruiting for Mississippi State," said Jones. "And I plan to do a better job recruiting this time. I don't feel like I did good enough during the Mississippi-Alabama (all-star game) practices."
And while he works to add more players to the Mississippi State commitment list, it wouldn't surprise me if he adds an additional star to his Scout.com profile page after the Under Armour game.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.