Months after Joliet Catholic running back Malin Jones orally committed to Northwestern, schools such as Wisconsin continued to sniff around. That’s modern football recruiting.
But now, with national signing day seven months away, every school has backed off except one: Vanderbilt.
“Vanderbilt should not be wasting their time on me,” Jones said Thursday. “They are not going to get me. Something very big would have to happen for me to not go to Northwestern.”
Just how big?
Jones said he is “99.99” percent certain he’ll be wearing purple in the fall of 2012.
“Northwestern is an up-and-coming school from a great conference,” Jones said. “I feel like I can go in there and compete to play as a freshman. I feel a lot of chemistry there. Just to see Coach (Pat) Fitzgerald at a practice and on the sidelines, he is really energetic. He’s getting into it, pushing the guys around. And he’ll be there a while because he just got his extension. It’s a perfect situation for a recruit.”
And an even better one for Northwestern, which has not produced a 1,000-yard rusher since Tyrell Sutton in 2006. Analysts view Jones as NU’s top running back commitment since Damien Anderson, who racked up a school-record 2,063 yards in 2000.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Jones averaged 10.8 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns last season for Joliet Catholic. Rivals.com ranks him 30th nationally among running backs, and he has snagged offers from Notre Dame, Illinois and Iowa.-Chicago Tribune