Former Alabama and current Ole Miss commit Benito Jones just might end up being my favorite prospect in this recruiting class. Not too many defensive tackles could be classified as exciting players to watch, but Jones fits into the exciting category as a player.
He has the potential to become a devastating presence in the middle of the Rebels defense and is only going to continue their recent tradition of impact players on the defensive line.
Jones may be the best athlete at interior defensive line in this class. He’s a twitchy athlete and moves extremely well for his size and is a good enough athlete to play all positions on the defensive line. He doesn’t have a sloppy physique and is built well. Even though he is 275 right now, I don’t expect he will get that much bigger at the next level and I expect he is likely to end up playing the 290 range in college.
There aren’t many other prospects that are as explosive off the ball as Jones. His first step is outstanding. He brings a solid punch with it as well and does a great job of establishing separation as well as consistently attacking half the man. This alone makes him a disruptive one-gap penetrator who can make plays in the backfield.
He does a nice job of disengaging from blocks. He has nice arm-over move that utilizes well, but seems to use it very frequently. It’s something that he probably won’t be able to get away with using as much on a consistent basis against better offensive lineman in the SEC. He is great in pursuit and can get to plays that others his size and at his position can’t get to.
I didn’t get to see a lot of interior run plays run right at him, but he can be so quick off the ball that that is how I imagine he will be able to combat a lot of double teams. His pad level is always very good.
He is a dominant pass rusher, all because of the way he attacks an edge of an offensive lineman and that first step. I imagine that he will be a tough player to handle for any slow-footed players that attempt to block him one on one.
He showed an ability to play on the nose and could easily be a one technique at Ole Miss, but is the kind of athlete that I see him being a fit as a three technique in a role that Robert Nkemdiche plays in now for the Rebels.
ESPN is the outlier with Jones in terms of their ranking and they are pretty close to where I would have him. He isn’t as physically impressive as some others in terms of strength, but his athleticism is exceptional. He has the chance to develop into a disruptive player for the Ole Miss defense for multiple seasons. I love his potential.
|Recruiting Site||Position||Position Rank||Stars|
Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).