Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Highly regarded runner visits Hogs
Arkansas track and field Coach Chris Bucknam and his staff hosted 11 prospects, including one of the top middle distance runners in the nation, on official visits.
C.J. Jones, 6-3, 170 pounds of Cardinal College Prep in St. Louis and his father, Chico made the trip to Fayetteville. He has best times of 1:49.7 in the 800 meters and 3:59 in the 1500.
“It was actually a lot of fun,” Jones said. “It was very educational. I like the school a lot more than I did before the visit.”
He and the other recruits attended the Hogs’ football game with Texas A&M.
“They made Arkansas feel like home,” Jones said. “That was a big thing. I liked the atmosphere at the football game and how they treat the athletes.”
Jones isn’t a stranger to Arkansas.
“I actually ran in the indoor facility when I was a sophomore,” he said. “I know how fast it is.”
The trip helped Arkansas’ chances but wasn’t enough to overtake Texas Tech.
“It actually moved them to the No. 2 spot,” Johnson said. “I haven’t taken my Texas Tech visit so I take my Texas Tech visit October 12th.”
He said the training philosophy of the Red Raiders has them on top.
“The coach’s main focus is on me,” said Jones of Texas Tech. “The workouts are dedicated to individual workouts. Where at Arkansas everybody practices as a team and Texas Tech focuses more like on your weak areas to make you stronger in your weak areas where Arkansas is dedicated towards the whole team.”
Jones, who’s also looking to take official visits to LSU, Georgetown and Clemson, is looking for a comfort level.
“It’s where I’m the most comfortable and where I can succeed,” Jones said.
Jones, who has ran a 45.8 split in the 4 x 400, has several goals going into his senior season.
“I’m going after the national high school record in the 800 and that’s 1:46.7 In the 400,” Jones said. “I’m trying to break our state record of 46.7 and I’m trying to win the state as a team in track. That’s one of my main goals is to win the state as a team because I know I can win individual I want to bring home a state championship to my school.”
He has eyes on making the 2016 United States Olympic team.
“As of now, the 800,” said Jones when asked his strongest event. “That’s my best race. I have the strength to take me around the second lap and I have the speed to go around the first lap.”