Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest Florida recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
Emory Jones fits Mullen’s QB mold
The recruitment of quarterback Emory Jones could come full circle this week.
The top-50 overall prospect will make a final decision on Wednesday and sign early with the school his choice. Jones is a long-time Ohio State commit, but has taken recent trips to Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Florida State.
An official visit to UF last weekend has the Gators in serious contention for Jones, but how did they become a factor this late in the game?
I asked that question to his mother, Trina Jones, when she spoke to SEC Country on Monday. New Florida coach Dan Mullen and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson immediately came to her mind.
“Well, Coach Mullen and Coach Johnson were the first coaches to offer Emory,” she said. “They started recruiting him to Mississippi State in the ninth grade. So we have a little history with them.”
Johnson was on Mullen’s MSU staff for three years and they offered Jones a scholarship in the spring of his freshman year (May 18, 2015). For the next nine months, the Bulldogs were the team to beat for Jones.
He took two trips to Mississippi State and built a relationship with both Johnson and Mullen.
“I love all the coaches there,” Jones said in a 2016 interview with 247Sports. “I see myself fitting in with their offense, especially throwing-wise. I see myself as a pocket passer, but I can run when I need to. I like to throw first.”
The 6-foot-3, 196-pound signal caller certainty shows that ability on his senior highlights (see below). Jones does damage with his legs and would give the Gators a running threat at QB, but he has an NFL arm and can sling it.
Jones saw his recruitment explode in the spring of 2016, landing offers from the likes of Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State. He committed to the Buckeyes that summer.
Jones always held Mullen and Johnson in high regard because of their work with Dak Prescott, who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys. He was the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs when they were recruiting Jones, and that was part of his attraction to MSU.
“I like what Mississippi State does with their quarterbacks,” Jones told Scout.com in 2016. “Watching Dak play, I feel like I could fit in there.”
That history could help Florida flip the nation’s No. 4 dual-threat quarterback and No. 40 overall recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Ohio State conceding on Emory Jones
SEC Country first reported Sunday that Florida and Florida State had emerged as the primary contenders for Jones.
Alabama has conceded and moved on from the Under Armour All-American, per an SEC Country source, and now the Buckeyes have reportedly bowed out of the race.
Bucknuts.com analyst Bill Kurelic reported Monday night that Ohio State has ended its efforts to sign Jones after his latest round of visits, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Jones is scheduled to announce his decision Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET.
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