Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle head coach Dan O’Keefe calls his blue-chip 2014 offensive tackle Jamarco Jones a “coach’s dream.”
Very productive on the football field, close to a 4.0 student and already a philanthropist in the community, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Jones is the total package.
“On and off the field, he gets it right every time,” O’Keefe said.
Holding early scholarship offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue and Vanderbilt, Jones checks in as the nation’s No. 12 offensive tackle and No. 82 prospect overall according to 247Sports. When’s he’s not practicing or lifting weights, he can usually be found studying for his tough curriculum filled with advanced placement classes, or coaching young kids running around in the same youth football league he grew up playing in. Jones has also volunteered at the local food bank and has raised money for an area foundation that helps adults and kids with special needs.
“He has a great focus,” O’Keefe said. “His expectations are high.”
For Jones, he’s just following suit.
“A lot of people have helped me out going back to grammar school,” he said. “I had some great coaches that helped me out a lot. Here at De La Salle also. I would like to help others be successful in life.”
Where Jones chooses to continue his success in college is a long way down the road, but early in the recruiting process, he says he’s built steady relationships with the coaching staffs at Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
Jones doesn’t plan on thinking about recruiting much during the season, but he does plan on attending several college games. The first date on his mind is Michigan’s home contest against rival Michigan State. He made it to Ann Arbor during the summer.
“They just have so much tradition up there,” Jones said. “You really can’t beat it when it comes to their tradition. They’re a top academic institution. Things like that catch my eye about Michigan.”
Jones visited Ohio State twice during the summer including for the Friday Night Lights camp in late July.
“They have a great coaching staff there,” Jones said. “Coach (Urban) Meyer, he’s very enthusiastic. He has some fire when he coaches. I got to work with Coach (Ed) Warinner a few times as well, and I talk to Coach (Mike) Vrabel so their coaching staff is great.”
Jones has taken two trips to Notre Dame including the spring game.
“They also have a great coaching staff,” Jones said. “I’ve talked to Coach (Harry) Hiestand a few times and Coach (Chuck) Martin. Their campus is great and their facilities are also.”
Michigan State also made an impression on Jones when he was recently in East Lansing.
“I talk to Coach Dan Roushar quite a bit and the campus was really great,” he said. “I got to tour the facilities and tour the campus and everything was really nice up there.”
Jones wanted to get to Wisconsin and Vanderbilt before the season began but he wasn’t able to make it. He sees himself getting to a Badgers game this fall.
“I’ve stayed in touch and we talk about the school and my game and things like that,” Jones recapped.
From Vanderbilt, Jones has built a strong relationship with his recruiter Ricky Rahne.
“They’re an SEC school which is probably the best conference in the country,” Jones said. “They’re also great academically. They’re known for that. They’re a program that’s been doing really well lately. I would like to get down there and visit.”
Besides Michigan and Wisconsin, Jones added that Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern and Notre Dame are likely game destinations during the fall.
The well-rounded Jones doesn’t have a timetable for a college decision but he does know what he’s looking for in a school.
“The academics and also the coaching staff,” he began. “I’m trying to get a feel for the coaching staff at each school. Also the facilities. You want to go to a school where you feel you can get better with the facilities they have.”