Richard Davenport has been a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2007. He also hosts Recruiting Thursday each Thursday from 7 to 8 p.m. statewide.
Elite RB to visit Hogs
Arkansas will host one of Texas’ top junior prospects, running back Ronald Jones II for a visit on March 1.
Jones, 6-0, 185, 4.41 seconds in the 40 yard dash, of McKinney North High School reports 14 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and TCU. His lead recruiter, running backs coach Joel Thomas helped convince him to make the trip.
“He’s telling me about getting me to Arkansas....Fayetteville and letting me know what’s going on,” Jones said.
Arkansas being in the SEC team and sending running backs like Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Knile Davis to the NFL also makes the Hogs attractive.
“They’ve shown they can get running backs to the NFL,” said Jones, who ran the 100 meters in 10.92 seconds and the 200 meters in 21.94 last summer. “That’s ultimately my main goal.”
Thomas’ coaching style is a plus.
“He said he’s going to make me the best player he can and he’s going to hold me accountable for everything,” Jones said. “I like that.”
Jones was named the All-District 13-4A MVP in a vote of coaches this past season after rushing 244 times for 2,406 yards, 9.86 yard average a carry and 39 touchdowns. He deflected praise about his outstanding season.
"It was a good year,” Jones said. “I have to give my big guys upfront a lot of credit. My guys got it done upfront. We had a new offensive coordinator, so I have to give him credit too.”
He described his running style.
“I would probably tell them a lot of quick cuts getting north and south and not too much dancing,” Jones said. “I like to compare myself to Jamal Charles. A lot of burst and a little bit of power every now and then.”
When it comes to decision time, Jones will rely on his mother, Jackie Dockery-Jones and his coaches for advice.
“I think what it’s going to come down to is if would I be happy there if I wasn’t playing football,” said Jones, who has a cousin that played football at North Texas and one at Ohio. “Just the environment and the vibe I get on campus. I always talk to other athletes and they say you’ll know which school you’ll want to go to when you step on campus. I’m hoping I get one of those moments.”
“I’m hoping to make a decision before the season starts so I can just focus on my senior year, but if that’s not the right time I’m willing to wait it out.”
Jones doesn’t anticipate making a late decision.
“I probably won’t wait until this time next year,” he said laughing.