On300 Warner Robins (Ga.) Northside safety Ricardo Jones remains one of Michigan’s top overall priorities this cycle.
The Wolverines hosted Jones for an unofficial visit last year and are continuing to make a huge impression on him.
“Michigan was one of my first big offers,” Jones said. “When I made a visit there, they treated me like I was the Man of the Year. Everybody loved me, and all the coaches knew who I was. They made me feel like part of the team. Coach (Jim) Harbaugh told me I’m one of the best safeties in the nation. I love Michigan.”
Michigan is looking for a truly elite safety this cycle, and Jones definitely fits the description. The Peach State native has racked up 14 interceptions in his high school career despite missing a big chunk of his junior campaign, averages 16.7 points per game on the basketball court and also boasts a 3.8 GPA in the classroom.
U-M safeties coach Jay Harbaugh is leading the way in this recruitment and has built a strong bond with Jones.
“That’s my boy right there,” Jones said. “He comes around the school all the time. He came to watch me at basketball practice. We talk all the time. He’s a real coach. He’ll be there for you outside of football. On my visit, we went out for breakfast, and we had some real 1-on-1 conversations.”
Michigan defensive coordinator Jesse Minter has also moved the needle with Jones.
“Coach Minter texts me all the time,” Jones said. “He came over from the Baltimore Ravens, and that NFL scheme is something that impresses me. If I go to Michigan, I’m already going to be doing what I’d be doing in the league. I’d be one step ahead.”
Jones added that he loves the way Michigan played on the defensive side of the ball last season and sees himself as a great fit.
“They have those dogs on that defense,” Jones said. “I really like the defense. They have five defensive backs on the field almost the whole game. If I work my butt off, I have a chance to play early at Michigan. I want to eat and play early.”
Jones is still mapping out official visits but said Michigan will more than likely get one this summer.
“I can’t wait to go back,” Jones said. “When I went last time, it was a two-day trip, and I didn’t get to see everything. I mostly saw the facilities, so I want to see more of the campus, the city and even the libraries — everything outside of football.”
Along with Michigan, Jones has offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee and others. He is looking to make a decision in October.
At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Jones is ranked as the No. 10 safety and No. 120 overall prospect nationally, per the On3 Industry Ranking.
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