I’m definitely not in the camp of “recruiting rankings mean nothing”, but I do believe that rankings before the summer of someone’s senior season can largely be ignored. Too many great players are not properly rated for many reasons.
I under there are reasons why Tony Jones Jr. is not a composite 4 star running back right now according to his rankings, but his junior film says blue chip to me. A back with his size that can cut like him puts him in that category for me and that’s also likely a reason why he is heading to The Opening in July.
Jones is already built like a college running back. He can concentrate on getting faster and stronger and not worry about gaining weight at the next level. He has much better feet than you’d expect for a back his size and has good straight line speed to go with a solid burst.
Jones wasn’t the primary back in IMG Academy’s offense last season, but he certainly seemed to make the most of his carries. He shows the ability to be a very good inside runner, not only because of his size and strength, but because of his ability to plant and explode as a one-cut runner. He is decisive and runs with power to break arm tackles.
Surprisingly he also shows the lateral agility to make defenders miss in the open field. This allows him to hit some homeruns at the high school level, although I think he’ll be more of a doubles and triples type of runner at the college level.
Has good vision and reads blocks well. It allows him to maximize yardage. At times it looks like he runs too high, but will lower pad level when he makes contact.
He’s too talented as a runner for this to happen, but certainly is capable of playing as a full time fullback in an offense. Shows good technique, pad level, and effort as a blocker. Jones also flashes good hands as a receiver.
His size might make people think he would be better suited as an I-back with a fullback in front of him, but he has the feet to be zone runner in a one back scheme.
Jones has the skills to be a feature back at the college level. Everything I see from him suggests he should be capable of developing into a player who plays in all situations and be a very good starting running back for some lucky program.
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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).