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September 17, 2013It wasn't surprising when Devin Jones committed to Colorado State last week. After all, in June the Rams had become the first FBS school to offer him and they made him a priority recruit.
Jones became the Rams' ninth verbal commitment on Monday, and their second defensive back commitment after Marcus Wilson of Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian pledged to the MWC school in early August.
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound defensive back from Woodland has an older brother, Dalen Jones, who is a young player at Fresno State. He's familiar with the conference layout in the Mountain West and will even have the opportunity to play against him.
North Dakota was the other school that had offered Jones but he liked the opportunity to play at the FBS level. Colorado State has more than twenty players from California on their roster so the staff has effectively recruited the state in recent years. Jones gives them an even deeper foothold in an important region.
NorCalPreps.com profiled Jones with a scouting report in July and we noted his obvious athletic ability on both sides of the ball. His film is impressive, from his long stride to his quickness off the snap. And he's got ball skills that are better than average.
While Jones plays in all three facets of the game he likely projects as a cornerback at CSU, the position where he has greatest potential. His length will be an asset against bigger receivers and Jones has the kind of swagger and attitude needed to play on an island against the spread offenses he will face.
The fact that he's 160-pounds belies an understated point about him: He's a physical player that isn't afraid to get low and initiate contact. We wouldn't be surprised at all if he finds his way onto the depth chart earlier than some expect. He's not one of the Rams' higher-rated commitments but the school identified him early and made him a big target.
Academically Jones has a chance to continue his education with a study of business, which is one reason he's excited about his choice. He will learn a lot more about the school when he takes his official visit later this fall.
Now it's worth noting that Jones hasn't visited Colorado State and as of his commitment date he still hadn't spoken with the head coach. His recruitment had been a direct line of communication with secondary coach Al Simmons, who served as his primary recruiter. The commitment is obviously legitimate but there's the possibility that he could remain open to other schools that look at someone late.
Jones was up front about the fact that one of the reasons he committed at this point was he didn't want to lose his scholarship offer. He told GoldandGreenNews.com that the Rams had offered a lot of corners and he wanted to secure a spot. Not a bad strategy, but that's often the kind of commitment that can be seen as a placeholder.
But he appears to be a Ram and Colorado State-bound. And they've found themselves a good one.