Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) safety Marshall Jones currently has some
of the nation’s top programs hot on his trail. Standing 6-1, 190-pounds
and capable of running the forty in 4.5 seconds, Jones’ outstanding playmaking
ability helped key back to back to titles for his high school squad and has
made him one of the most coveted defensive back recruits in the country. Though
his offer list continues to grow, there are already a few programs that stand
out on his list.
“The top schools I’m looking at are Michigan, USC, Arizona, and
Oregon,” said Jones. “Those are my top four.”
As the only program on Jones’ leader-board not in the Pacific Time zone,
many might think the Maize and Blue is at a bit of a disadvantage. However,
the young man himself insists that is not the case.
“I’ve always liked Michigan because I grew up in Chicago,”
explained Jones. “I was close kind of to Michigan, so I’ve had the
feeling that it was a good school. It’s always been one of the schools
I wanted to go to. My grandparents went there. They didn’t really talk
about it that much…but they did. I’ve just always looked at them.”
Defensive coordinator Ron English has been directing Jones’ recruitment
for the Wolverines, and has made the youngster aware of the opportunity to get
on the field right away in Ann Arbor
“I’ve spoken to him a lot and I like him,” said Jones regarding
English. “He came to my school. He’s a good guy. He said he would
like it if I moved to corner. He says that I’d be able to compete for early
playing time. We don’t really know that that would happen yet though.
I wouldn’t mind, but I love to play safety because that’s my position.”
Jones will consider a number of factors when choosing a school, but the chance
to get on the field immediately will clearly be very important.
“Of the schools I’m looking at, it will come down to which ones
have the best academics,” he said. “Plus, I want to play earlier.
I don’t want to wait until my junior year to play. If I can fit in someplace
quick and compete, that’s a place I’d really consider.”
Another factor that could come into play is the possibility of attending college
with a few of his high school teammates. He and fellow Oaks Christian standouts
Duke Lemmens and Mike Ebbitt have a few offers in common and have discussed
the idea of being teammates on the next level.
“We’ve talked about it, but I don’t think anyone is going
to base their decision on that,” said Jones. “It would nice for
some of us to go to the same schools as each other. Oregon and Arizona have
offered like five of us.”
Jones plans to continue his evaluation of the schools on his list by taking
a number of visits over the next few months, including one to Ann Arbor.
“I’ve been to SC plenty of times and I’ve visited Oregon
and Arizona,” said Jones. “I’m probably going to make a trip
out there (to Michigan) this summer. I don’t know if I can make the football
camp, but I’m going to try. I’ll make other visits too. I’m
not sure when right now.”
“My parents and I should have it at least narrowed down to a top two
or my decision by Thanksgiving.”