Jamir Jones pledges to follow brother Jarron to Notre Dame
Jamir Jones told his mother he wasn’t going to commit.
Then, he committed.
The outside linebacker’s drastic reversal is a testament to the speech delivered by Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, who offered Jones a scholarship on Tuesday after the 6-foot-3, 220-pound athlete competed in a camp in South Bend.
“It was just sitting down with Coach VanGorder and him being real with me, telling me where he sees me playing, what he thinks my strengths and weaknesses are and what I need to work on,” Jones said. “It seemed like more and more of a reality as he kept talking to me.”
Jamir’s reality is also shared by his brother, Notre Dame senior nose guard Jarron Jones, who has made noticeable advancements — both physically and emotionally — since first stepping foot in South Bend prior to the 2012 season. Jarron has started in 12 games, making a total of 60 tackles with 2.5 sacks.
But his most visible progress has little to do with football.
“Really, it’s just been a whirlwind. I’m riding on cloud nine,” said Lakiescha Jones, Jarron and Jamir’s mother. “They (Notre Dame) took Jarron — a boy, a very immature boy — and made him into a man. They have made my son into a man. He (Jamir) sees that.”
And soon, Jamir will head down a similar path, from the family’s home in Rochester, N.Y., to Notre Dame. Prior to Tuesday’s development, the younger Jones had received largely regional offers, coming from the likes of Boston College, Buffalo, Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Syracuse.
"He's a good, solid prospect," said CBS Sports Network recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. "He's not as highly thought-of as his brother coming out of high school, but he's a good, solid player."
Jamir had planned to head to Storrs, Conn., on Friday to camp with UConn and its head coach, former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco. He was also scheduled to visit Duke later in the summer.
“He said all that’s done and he’s committed,” Lakiescha Jones said with a chuckle. “Now I can possibly take a vacation this summer.”
Though he’s slated as a linebacker on the next level, Jamir played quarterback at Aquinas Institute last season, passing for 715 yards and six touchdowns. And that diversion, the family said, actually may have delayed a scholarship offer from Notre Dame.
“They made it very clear to him that they were not going to offer him just because he was Jarron’s brother,” Lakiescha Jones said. “The issue for him was that he played out of his position last year. They wanted to see more film of him on defense.”
On Tuesday, they saw, they offered, and Jamir bought in.
As for Lakiescha?
The whole thing is still a beautiful dream.
“It’s just a blessing. I’m just on cloud nine because of the fact that I have two kids that were even offered by Notre Dame, not even that they’ll be playing,” she said. “They considered my kids from little old Rochester worthy enough to have an offer. They had trust in them that they would be good enough football players to represent them and play on the team.”
And maybe, if everything falls into place, they’ll play together. Jarron is a senior this season, but because he did not appear in a game in his freshman season, the 6-5, 315-pound nose guard may be granted a fifth season of eligibility in 2016. That means, for at least 12 games, Jarron and Jamir’s Irish careers might overlap.
“If they were to possibly come out together and be playing on the same field, and I would only have to go to one game to see the both of them, it couldn’t get any better,” Lakiescha Jones said. “It couldn’t get any better.”
On Tuesday night, shortly before hopping on a plane back to the East Coast, Jamir Jones — like his mother — was still in awe of his long-term destination.
“It’s very surreal. I’m ecstatic to be even offered by them,” Jamir Jones said. “To know that I’m going to be here, it can’t come soon enough. I can’t wait.”
Safe to say I will be transferring if I stay a 5th year.. I'm jk! Congrats to my lil bro @Jones__24 ! Follow him!
— Jarron Jones™ (@Who_GotJones94) June 23, 2015