Film Study: Notre Dame WR signee Micah Jones
WR Micah Jones, 6-5, 202; Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township.
The numbers: In his senior season at Warren Township, Jones caught 53 passes for 710 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Blue Devils (7-4) lost in the second round of the IHSA Class 8A playoffs.
The rankings: Rivals – Four stars, No. 36 WR. 247Sports – Three stars, No. 126 WR.
First impression: Jones is a big-bodied receiver who finally saw some production to reflect his potential. Jones made a big improvement between his junior and senior seasons to be a go-to target in his offense. He’s a potential nightmare matchup in the red zone with his big frame.
Strengths: Jones doesn’t let his size go to waste. At his best, he’s finding the ball and catching it at a point where no defender can stop him. He uses his strong hands to catch the ball away from his body and the defensive back. Because of his size, Jones has to deal with some congested coverage. That doesn’t prevent him from making a play. He’s fearless in traffic. Near the sideline and in the end zone, Jones uses every last inch of the field complete the catch and keep a foot in bounds. Jones is also a willing blocker who can help spring touchdowns in the running game.
Proof of prowess: (1:10) Jones doesn’t create much separation on a stop fade in the end zone, but he uses his body to wall off the defender draped on him and catch the ball above his head for the touchdown …(1:58) The fade route is hard to defend against Jones. He uses that fact to his advantage by running a post route into the end zone for an easy touchdown catch. Jones does a nice job of convincing the cornerback that his route is headed to the boundary before quickly cutting inside … (6:39) With the help of a perfectly placed pass, Jones hauls in the football before falling out of bounds. With excellent body control, Jones was able to secure the catch while making sure to keep a foot in the end zone.
Competition level: Warren Township saw a three-game improvement from 2016 to 2017. The Blue Devils came to play on a weekly basis against a good schedule and qualified for the playoffs in the highest classification in Illinois. Even in its four losses, Warren played tough against its best competition. Three of the four losses came at the hands of three of the top 14 teams in Illinois, according to MaxPreps.
That quality wasn’t necessarily reflected in the talent asked to cover Jones. The top 2018 recruits on the Warren schedule weren’t defensive backs. Bolingbrook cornerback Cameron Mitchell, a three-star recruit in the 2019 class, may have been the best cornerback to play against Jones last season.
Left to prove: Jones deserves props for the improvement between his junior and senior season. He had spotty quarterback play for much of his career at Warren Township, but he remained committed to getting better. Jones will still have question marks on his ability to get open and his speed. Jones isn’t likely to be a receiver to produce many yards after his catches. But much like Irish wide receiver Miles Boykin, he should at least find ways to make plays sporadically.