As recruiting reaches the home stretch this year, one of the bigger names left on the Notre Dame recruiting board is five star linebacker Christian Jones. The Florida native who at one point was considered a long shot for the Irish could be more likely than most people felt based on recent reports.
Florida State Blog Tomahawk Nation published a report on Wednesday stating that Jones has been working hard to get his academics in line in order to pass Notre Dame admission standards.
5* OLB prospect Christian Jones has been working in a credit retrieval program to try to pull up some of his grades. He is doing it to try and meet the Notre Dame admission standards and is leaning that way. [Jones has called this a "college credit program]
While the report states that the author doesn’t think Jones will end up with Irish, it certainly bodes well for Notre Dame that Jones is working on his academics to pass Notre Dame admissions. If Jones wasn’t seriously considering Notre Dame this most likely wouldn’t be the case.
Another report from the Alabama blog Capstone Report featured a Q&A with Jones that had some promising quotes for Notre Dame’s chances as well.
“The assistant Coach Afford is the coach that I’m closest out of all the coaches. He is very organized and has studied me . He knows my basketball schedule and my favorite food. He really wants me at Notre Dame, but I have to raise my grades because the standards are higher.”
Alford is one of the best recruiters on the Notre Dame staff and it appears that keeping Alford on staff is already paying off dividends on the recruiting trail for Brian Kelly.
The Caperstone Report feature on Jones also had another quote from Jones about what will factor into his decision that should give Notre Dame fans some hope.
“I’d like to play for a defensive system I’d fit in. We ran a 5-2 defense at Lake Howell and I played Outside Backer. Also academics will be huge in my decision. Football doesn’t last forever so I’m going to get my degree. Distance will not play a factor.”
Notre Dame has both excellent academics, and the 3-4 defensive system that Bob Diaco plans to install at Notre Dame perfectly suits Jones abilities perfectly. Jones projects as an outside linebacker/pass rusher in the new Irish defense.
While all of these quotes show that Notre Dame still has a great chance with Jones, the Irish will still face very stiff competition against the likes of Florida, Florida State, Alabama, Tennessee, USC, and Oklahoma.