Notre Dame WR commit Micah Jones taking advantage of offseason

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Spring break didn’t include any beaches for Micah Jones.

Sleeping in wasn’t necessarily a daily option either. That’s because the Notre Dame wide receiver commit spent his week off with the Irish last month.

Jones attended workouts, meetings, practices and anything else he could find to get a better feel for his future home.

“I got to meet with the players, meet with the academic staff,” Jones said. “I got to talk to the players and got to be around the campus and the students. It was great.

"I got to know a lot of people there. I got to know the whole team basically. It was like I was with family the whole time, which was great.”

Jones wasn’t exactly a new face on campus. Even though he only committed less than two months ago, the 6-foot-5, 202-pound receiver has been in South Bend for several visits since 2015.

Change has been the central theme of Notre Dame’s offseason, and Jones has seen enough to believe that the hype is real rather than manufactured.

“It’s something that I definitely didn’t see last season,” Jones said of Notre Dame’s preparation in practice. “It was very high-tempo. All the coaches were really on the players about every little thing. It was great to see. I think they’ll do really good this year.”

The spring practices offered Jones his first look at how new wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander directs his players.

“He likes to keep them close on the sideline and wherever he is so he can tell them a lot about what they’re doing,” Jones said. “He doesn’t like when they drift off and go talk to other people. It’s a lot of getting down to business and focusing in on what they need to do. It was great to see.”

With new offensive coordinator Chip Long tinkering with the wide receivers available to him, Notre Dame has utilized more size at the position. Equanimeous St. Brown, Chase Claypool and Miles Boykin are all at least 6-4 and have made plays during the spring.

“It was great to see,” Jones said. “I got to see Chase and Equanimeous. Those are the two positions I’d really be looking at to play. It was great to see how they were reacting and what plays they were running.”

Despite catching only 22 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns in his junior season at Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township, Jones became a coveted recruit in large part due to his size. His biggest challenge will be developing the ability separate from defenders in his route running.

Jones clocked a 40-yard dash of 4.88 seconds at The Opening Regional in Lake Forest, Ill., earlier this month and struggled to make catches in one-on-one matchups with defenders. Working on his technique and acceleration coming in and out of breaks has become a major focus.

“It’s definitely come along, but it’s just something you have to keep working at,” Jones said. “It’s come along to the point where it’s like I just have to get the little things down.”

247Sports recently dropped Jones 25 spots in its wide receiver rankings for the 2018 class. In March, Jones was positioned as a four-star recruit and the No. 47 wide receiver. Now 247Sports slates him as a three-star recruit and the No. 72 wide receiver. Rivals ranks him as a four-star prospect and the No. 29 wideout.

Jones will have plenty of opportunities to prove where he belongs. Jones plans to attend a Rivals 3 Stripe Camp and an Under Armour All-America Camp later this spring. He’ll continue to take what he learned during spring break and apply it through the offseason.

“I’m getting to as many camps as I can to showcase my skills and see how I go against some of the better DBs in the country,” Jones said. “I’m just looking forward to getting better on and off the field and in the classroom.”

tjames@ndinsider.com

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Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Wide receiver commit Micah Jones spent his spring break at Notre Dame. (Photo courtesy of Daily Herald/Steve Lundy)