Film Study: Notre Dame LB commit Jamir Jones

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

LB commit Jamir Jones, 6-3, 220; Rochester (N.Y.) Aquinas Institute

The numbers: In a limited role on defense, Jones totaled 17 tackles, six tackles for a loss and three sacks as a junior. Most of his production came on offense for Aquinas. Jones completed 34 passes for 715 yards and five touchdowns and added 205 yards and one touchdown rushing. The Little Irish finished the season 6-2.

The rankings: Rivals — Three stars, No. 41 outside linebacker. 247Sports — Three stars, No. 74 outside linebacker.

FILM BREAKDOWN

First impression: As a versatile player, Jones has done so much in high school it’s hard to pin him down to a specific position. He’ll likely start as a linebacker early in his college career before developing into a defensive end. He’s shown similar attributes to Irish defensive lineman Jonathan Bonner during their junior seasons in high school.

Strengths: Despite being categorized by many as an outside linebacker, the majority of Jones’ defensive highlights come from the defensive end position. Playing on the edge of the line of scrimmage, Jones shows quickness at the snap. When he’s in complete pass rush mode, he can get to the quarterback in a hurry. Jones possesses a solid frame with length — nearly requirements to be an excellent pass rusher. He appears to be a sure tackler with his long arms. Jones tracks down players from behind thanks to a motor that keeps pushing. On both sides of the ball, Jones has shown the ability to change directions quickly.

He did what? (:31) Jones crashes inside after reading run but quickly changes directions upon realizing the quarterback still has the ball. Jones closes in on the quarterback and drags him down before he turns the corner … (:45) Jones shows a burst at the snap of the ball and is even with the offensive tackle before he can get into a pass set. This allows Jones to rip past the lineman and wrap up the quarterback … (1:10) Jones recognizes a handoff away from him and tracks down the running back from behind in a flash.

Competition level: Adjusting to the college game following a career against weaker competition was a big hurdle for older brother Jarron Jones. The same can be said about Jamir Jones. Aquinas plays a fairly tame schedule with few athletes that can match Jamir’s above average explosiveness. His biggest challenge came against Canisius, who finished the season as the champions of the New York State Catholic High Schools Athletic Association. Canisius featured Michigan signee Tyrone Wheatley Jr. at tight end.

Left to prove: With more time devoted to playing defense as a senior, Jones should have an opportunity to develop into a more consistent player. He shows flashes in his highlights, but they are small in number. Playing quarterback may have hurt his immediate progression as a defender, but the confidence needed to play the position and the knowledge of how an offense works should help Jones in the long run. Despite telling ND Insider he projects initially as a Sam linebacker for Notre Dame, it’s hard to imagine him seeing playing time early in his career at the position. He is more likely to grow into a defensive end and become a project for new defensive line coach Keith Gilmore. When Jones starts his first game as a senior, his body is likely to look a lot different than it did last season, when he played at 210 pounds. A more accurate read of his future should be apparent during his senior season.

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Outside linebacker Jamir Jones, brother of senior nose tackle Jarron Jones, verbally committed to Notre Dame on Tuesday.