JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Emory Jones calls himself the leader of Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class. He actively recruits for the Buckeyes and is vocal for his love for Ohio State almost daily on Twitter. Think of him as the Alex Leatherwood of the Buckeyes’ class. Leatherwood was a major recruiting force for Alabama in the Class of 2017; Jones is that to Ohio State in 2018.
Though he says he’s more than 110 percent committed to Ohio State, that hasn’t stopped Jones, the nation’s No. 2 dual-threat quarterback from Heard County (Franklin, Ga.) High School, from taking visits elsewhere.
Jones trekked to Tuscaloosa on March 25, shortly after receiving an offer from the Crimson Tide. This was Jones’ first time meeting with Nick Saban and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Jones said Daboll’s experience watching Tom Brady close in person over the past several years is intriguing to him.
“The biggest thing I took away from him is how he can develop me for the next level seeing how he just came from there,” Jones told SEC Country. “He obviously knows a lot of things about the NFL and could help me get there. He’s watched Tom (Brady) closely for the past several years. He can take what he’s seen from him and help other quarterbacks.”
Saban told Jones that in his opinion, he’s the best playmaking quarterback in the Class of 2018. That’s a lot of praise for Jones coming from Saban, and Jones surely appreciated it. But as of now, it’s highly unlikely Alabama will get the “best playmaking quarterback” in this year’s class.
Jones is locked in with the Buckeyes.
“It will take a lot for me to de-commit from Ohio State,” Jones said. “It would have to be like a major coaching change like Urban (Meyer) leaving or something.”
That’s not likely going to happen unless Meyer decides to abruptly retire or is given a massive contract to coach in the NFL. Both of those seem highly unlikely. What about Ohio State’s depth at quarterback? The Buckeyes, like the Tide, have a lot of young depth at the position. Ohio State has two highly ranked quarterbacks after J.T. Barrett in Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell while Alabama has Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones.
While it would appear as if going to either school wouldn’t lead to early playing time, Jones doesn’t mind that. He said a redshirt wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing.
“You’re going to have to compete no matter where you go and no matter who’s there,” Jones said. “That’s how I look at it. I feel like I could learn from those guys and get developed.”
The 6-foot-3, 197-pound prospect grew up a Buckeyes fan mainly because of Braxton Miller. Miller was Jones’ favorite college quarterback. He had a chance to talk to Miller for 30 minutes the first time he visited Columbus. He called that moment a dream come true.
Jones also likes the Buckeyes because of their offense. He said Ohio State’s offensive scheme resembles his offense at Heard County. If he somehow did change his mind on Ohio State, three schools would be in the mix for him: Alabama, Florida and Florida State.
“All of those head coaches and quarterback coaches at those schools develop their quarterbacks,” Jones said. “I feel like they could develop me for the next level.”
He will take all five official visits and those schools mentioned above will likely get one. Again, it seems very unlikely he flips his commitment, but with him visiting other schools and showing interest, there’s always a possibility.