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.
Bielema, Smith and Lunney help Jones call the Hogs
Smackover's Jordan Jones (10) was Arkansas' first commitment in the class of 2016.
FAYETTEVILLE The relationship between a recruit and a college coach often plays a big role in the prospect’s college decision. In the case of Smackover junior receiver Jordan Jones, an Arkansas commitment, it was three coaches.
Jones, who pledged to the Hogs on Thursday, credits Coach Bret Bielema, receivers coach Michael Smith and lead recruiter and tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. for helping him decide to be a Razorback.
“He wants to see you succeed at a higher level than college and in the pros,” Jones said of Bielema. “He’s just a good guy. I can tell he’s a good man. He’s career focused and he’s going to get me on the right path so we can get here and turn this thing around.”
Jones, 6-2, 175 pounds, dominated defensive backs during one-on-ones at the Hogs’ Elite Camp and that along with a 4.34 timing in the 40 yard dash led to an offer from Arkansas. Video highlights CLICK HERE
He thinks highly of Smith.
“He’s a great guy, he’s funny man,” said Jones, who also has an offer from Tulsa. “I love him to death, He’s just telling me the small things to work on throughout the day. I love him like a dad.”
Oklahoma State, Mississippi State, Memphis, Louisiana Tech are among the schools also showing interest.
Lunney has been straightforward with Jones since day one.
“Well, he’s real honest,” Jones said in an earlier interview. “He was like we like you, but we’re not guaranteeing you anything. He’s the kind of guy you want talk to, real calm. "
Jones recorded 25 receptions for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and was named to the All-Arkansas Preps Super Sophomore team.
“I think my strengths would be my speed and my jumping ability,” Jones said. “I think I need to work on my route running little bit more and get a little bit smoother. Other than that I think I’m pretty squared away.”
Jones and teammate Elmore Hempstead, who’s an all purpose back and defensive back, made the trip together for the Arkansas camp.
“He kept me loose, kept me laughing and not thinking about it too much,” Jones said. “They need to check him out next. They need to get him now.”