Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Massachusetts Football Recruit Profile: Davon Jones

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Throughout January our SuitePreps section will be rolling out profiles for some of the top football recruits in Massachusetts, all leading up to National Signing Day on February 4th. We continue today with explosive athlete Davon Jones, a two-way star for St. John's (Shrewsbury) who used his closing speed and leaping ability to dominate as both a safety and a receiver for the Pioneers.

Davon Jones

St. John's High School (Shrewsbury)
Defensive Back/Wide Receiver
5'10'', 180 lbs.
College Choice: Boston College
Senior Highlights


ESPN Scouts Inc.- 3 stars, 74/100, #4 in MA, #92 S
247- 3 stars, 86/100, #3 in MA, #83 CB
Rivals- 2 stars, 5.3/6.1

Ranking Notes: All three recruiting services grade on the "star scale," awarding a player 1-5 stars, but ESPN and 247 also grade each prospect on a 1-100 scale to position them more precisely. Rivals has its own grading scale, which goes from 0-6.1.

Strengths: Instincts, quickness, vertical leap

Areas to Improve: Height, over aggression

Ok, so Jones can't really be expected to improve his height, but he is right on the fringe of "necessary" height for a major college safety. To his credit, the St. John's star has always played bigger than he looks, laying some of the biggest hits in the state from his safety spot, both against the run, and as an instinctive zone defender making plays against underneath crossing routes.

Jones is already in great shape and very strong for his size, but another year or two in the weight room, along with additional film study will help Jones ease any concerns about his height (which is somewhere between 5'9'' and 6'0'', depending on who you ask). If you've ever watched Jones play (on either side of the ball), two things quickly jump out at you: First, his love of contact, and second, his ability to seemingly jump out of the gym.
Jones showing off his hops in the 2013 D2 state semifinal against Springfield Central. Click to enlarge.
Watch his senior tape above and you'll find numerous examples of Jones high-pointing balls above players two or three inches taller than him. He became an unexpectedly lethal threat in the red zone as a fade route specialist, and when St. John's played Cover 2 on defense, Jones brought down any ball that hung in the air longer than a split second.

His downhill style on defense made him, perhaps, Central MA's most feared hitter. That style led to some highlight reel tackles and pass breakups, but also occasionally caught him out of position. Jones' instincts are very advanced for his age, and he had the speed to outrun many of his mistakes, but it is something that could be exploited at the next level. Great players do have to take risks, especially at safety, so understanding situational football will be critical for Jones moving forward.

Heading to BC, many expect Jones to stay on the defensive side of the ball, either as a safety or corner. Personally, I think his instincts, physicality and leaping ability make up for any perceived lack of height, and I could see Jones growing into a free safety that also acts as an enforcer for the Eagles down the road. Add in the fact that Jones has a great pair of hands, and you get someone that could be a multi-year starter in the Eagles' secondary, provided he puts in the time in the weight and film rooms.

No comments :