Four-star WR Micah Jones gets another good dose of Notre Dame

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Micah Jones doesn’t intend on waiting until he can make official visits to make his college decision.

Instead the junior wide receiver plans to make his final unofficial visits more meaningful by making them overnight stays.

Notre Dame received the latest chance to impress Jones this weekend. The 6-foot-5, 195-pound recruit from Illinois arrived in South Bend on Friday night and stayed on campus until Sunday morning.

“This time around I got to talk to a lot of the players and got to know the players,” Jones said. “I spent a lot of quality time with them outside of football. On top of that, I got to spend a lot of quality time with the coaches. That was a great experience for me to see all the coaches and their new systems."

Notre Dame isn’t likely to be the last school to receive a chance to impress Jones. He said Sunday that he hopes to make overnight visits to Michigan State, Ole Miss and Nebraska. The Cornhuskers immediately joined the conversation with a scholarship offer following his visit to Notre Dame.

But Jones still plans on making a verbal commitment in April. The Irish remain in a good position with Jones despite the departure of wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock, who previously led Notre Dame’s recruitment of Jones.

Since Denbrock left for Cincinnati, Jones said he’s had multiple conversations with new offensive coordinator Chip Long and new wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander. He even listed coordinator of recruiting operations Aaryn Kearney and graduate assistant Pryce Tracy as staff members he knows well.

“I talk to a lot of people in the system since he left,” Jones said. “It's been a good thing for me."

After signing only two wide receivers — Jafar Armstrong and Michael Young — in the 2017 class, the Irish have room for multiple players at the position in 2018. Especially a four-star recruit with size like Jones. Armstrong and Young stand 6-1 and 5-11, respectively.

Long pitched Jones on playing the “W” role at Notre Dame, the same that Equanimeous St. Brown shined in for the Irish last season.

“(Long) would stretch the field with me and run a lot of different routes with my body type and get me the ball downfield,” Jones said. “He said he likes to get the ball to his playmakers, so that's really something I look at and I'm excited for."

While on campus at Notre Dame, Jones was joined by several other Irish targets and all six Irish commits in the 2018 class. Jones has interacted with many of them on Twitter or in text messages, but he said hanging out with them at Notre Dame gave him a better understanding of their personalities and goals.

“It was great to see them in person and see how they act,” Jones said. “I noticed that they all act the same as me, which was great to see. We weren't very different from each other. We fit in well as a group."

If Jones visits Notre Dame again in the future, it would likely be as an Irish commit. The Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township product has been on campus so frequently, he could probably lead a tour of his own. He visited three times in 2016, including the Irish Invasion in June and the Stanford game in October.

There isn’t much left on Jones’ to-do list when it comes to Notre Dame.

"I feel like I know everything,” Jones said. “You can get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about the academics of the university. I breezed over it a little bit. Other than that, I've been there so many times. Every time I just get to learn more. There's nothing that I really look at that I need to know."

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Micah Jones runs a drill during the Irish Invasion at Notre Dame Stadium Saturday, June 18, 2016. ND Insider Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA