By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
Benito Jones feels great, but he’s not exactly where he wants to be just yet heading into the final month of training for the 2015 football season.
The Wayne County defensive tackle came to Ole Miss camp two weeks ago to work out, and continue to learn more about the program. Jones (6-foot-1, 305 pounds) is a verbal pledge for the 2016 class, and his goal is to have a great senior season for the War Eagles. He hung out with some of the other players who have committed to Hugh Freeze. He also took part in some of the camp activities.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.02 seconds, a little slower than 4.81 he ran heading into his junior season a year ago. Of course he did weigh 257 pounds when that time was recorded and it wasn’t 10 weeks after he had shoulder surgery.
“I haven’t done too much since I tore my labrum,” Jones said before talking about Ole Miss. “The visit has been good. This place is home. I feel comfortable here.”
Jerrell Powe, a former Ole Miss defensive tackle standout from Wayne County, is a big inspiration to Jones. The two have talked a lot about recruiting, saying he and Powe worked out together from time to time. Chris Kiffin was the assistant coach who secured Jones to Oxford.
“We’re real tight. He’s a good coach,” Jones said. “The want me to be a three technique and play some five. It was real attractive to play in this defense because you want to play with the best. You want to play with the best and be the best.”
One of the other recruits Jones is close with is Laurel tight end Octavious Cooley.
“We play against each other. They beat us and I got mad and frustrated, but it’s just a game,” Jones said of Laurel, which defeated the War Eagles in the Class 5A south state championship. “Then they came up and beat the north team (Oxford). I was pulling for the south and it was a great. (Cooley) is very amazing, but you have to understand that we have 5-8, 5-9 corners that weigh 150, 160. You can’t stop a 250-pound man catching the football.”
Even though Jones, who is rated as one of the top defensive tackles in the nation, is a pledge to the Rebels, he is still being heavily recruited by the likes of Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Florida and Florida State. Mississippi State is also in the mix as far as contact with the four-star prospect.
“They don’t talk bad about any other colleges, they just want me to think about them,” Jones said.
More camps weren’t in the future of Jones, who rated his commitment to Ole Miss as a “10” on a scale of 1 to 10.