The Wolverine

November 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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NOVEMBER 2020 THE WOLVERINE 47   PREP PROFILES Connor Jones is starting to see his stock rise on the recruiting trail. The rising 2022 offensive lineman out of Monument (Colo.) Palmer Ridge is up to half a dozen offers and is hear- ing from more schools around the country. "Recruiting has been really good," Jones said. "I've been in contact with Kansas and Kansas State for a bit. Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Oregon and West Virginia are the strongest colleges that have reached out — out- side of my offers, of course." As of early October, Jones had scholarships in hand from Colorado State, Indiana, Michigan, New Mex- ico, Northwestern and Virginia. Michigan jumped in the mix for Jones on Sept. 1, the first day college coaches were allowed to reach out to rising juniors. While Jones and Mich- igan offensive line coach Ed Warin- ner had talked in the past, the offer held special meaning. "I freaked out," Jones said. "Michi- gan was my first Power Five offer, and it was a big Power Five offer to get. I've been a fan of Michigan my whole life." Jones and Warinner are keeping in regular contact and quickly building up a strong rapport. "I feel like our relationship is strong but not there yet," Jones said. "We still have a lot of ground to cover. It's been a while since we've seen each other in person. "I like how he's straight up with ev- erything. He doesn't try to exaggerate anything at all. He doesn't like to say anything that he might regret. He's very straightforward and truthful." Jones added that he's impressed with Warinner 's ability to develop players in the trenches. Remember, Warinner had every eligible offensive lineman taken in this past April's NFL Draft. "Overall, he's a great coach," Jones said. "He's put a lot of guys in the league. That's one thing that I'm go- ing to take into consideration when making a decision. It definitely makes me super excited. The NFL is Plan A. I'm going to choose the best coach that will put me into the league. It's nice to know that I would have an experienced coach doing that." Jones is pretty noncommittal on his preferences at this early stage in his recruitment. "I'm going to stay very neutral," he said. "But overall, I like the Michigan campus. With all the pictures and virtual tours, it looks very beautiful. They are very strong in my degree plan [sports medicine]. I think they are top four in the nation. Also, you can't go wrong with The Big House." Jones plans to visit Michigan soon after the dead period. At 6-6, 280 pounds, Jones is rated as a 5.5 three-star prospect. — EJ Holland Sebastian Cheeks is starting to blow up on the recruiting trail. The Ri- vals100 outside linebacker out of Evan- ston (Ill.) Township is up to a dozen offers and is hearing from plenty more now that Sept. 1 has come and gone. "Recruiting has been going well," Cheeks said. "I've been talking to new schools and making new relation- ships. Kentucky was my latest offer. I've been talking more to Notre Dame and Ohio State just to name a few." Michigan was a fairly early offer for Cheeks, and the Wolverines have been working hard to continue to build up their relationship. Both area recruiter Sherrone Moore and linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary have been in constant contact over the last several months. "I've been keeping up my relation- ship with Coach Moore and Coach Jean-Mary," Cheeks said. "They're always in my corner. They are guys that I can always talk to. I really like both of them, and everything has been going really well with them." One of the more versatile prospects in the Midwest, Cheeks played both linebacker and running back last year but was limited to four games due to injury. Most teams like Cheeks on the defensive side of the ball, including Michigan. In Don Brown's attacking scheme, Cheeks has the potential to play multiple spots. "They just believe I can play any- where on the field for them, especially at backer," Cheeks said. "They think I can make plays and be versatile." U-M dipped into Chicagoland this cycle and landed a talented linebacker in Tyler McLaurin. Cheeks and McLau- rin are actually friends and have been working out together this offseason. "Tyler is good at communicating," Cheeks said. "He's another Chicago kid that I can talk to about anything with recruiting. He's a year older than me, so he understands what the process is like. In terms of Michigan, I can talk to him about his relationships with the coaches and all of that." Along with Michigan, Cheeks also has offers from Boston College, Min- nesota, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Texas and Wisconsin. "Michigan is always up there," Cheeks said. "Michigan can develop me on the field and in the classroom. They just got ranked as the No. 1 public school. That's always a good draw for a recruit." Cheeks hopes to visit Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas and Or- egon following the dead period. At 6-2, 205 pounds, he is ranked as the No. 12 outside linebacker and No. 96 overall prospect nationally by — EJ Holland Colorado Junior O-Lineman Has Coveted Offer From The Wolverines Chicago-Area Junior Linebacker Likes Michigan Cheeks "Michigan can develop me on the field and in the class- room. They just got ranked as the No. 1 public school. That's always a good draw for a recruit." ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Palmer Ridge H.S. Monument, Colo. Class: 2022 Position: Offensive Tackle Ht.: 6-6 • Wt.: 280 Rivals Rankings: Currently unrated Connor Jones ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Evanston H.S. Evanston, Ill. Class: 2022 Position: Outside Line- backer Ht.: 6-2 • Wt.: 205 Rivals Rankings: No. 3 recruit in Illi- nois, and No. 12 outside linebacker and No. 96 overall prospect in the country Sebastian Cheeks

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