The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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40 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2021   COMMITMENT PROFILE M ichigan has scored another win in the trenches. This time around, the Wolverines landed a commitment from three-star Monu- ment (Colo.) Palmer Ridge offensive lineman Connor Jones, who pulled the trigger on Christmas Eve. "I've been a fan of Michigan my whole life," Jones said. "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 picked Michigan over offers from Colorado State, Indiana, New Mexico, Northwestern, Oregon State, Virginia and West Virginia. He took a self-guided tour of Mich- igan before Christmas, which helped him make his decision. The trip was his first time in Ann Arbor, and he loved the feel of the campus and the city. "It was the hometown feel," Jones said. "It reminded me of downtown Colorado Springs. "My dad and I have been big Mich- igan fans, and I've been calling it my dream school." Jones also made trips to Indiana and Northwestern on his swing through the Midwest. He originally planned to see a few other schools, especially out West. However, Jones saw no reason to wait. After check- ing out Michigan, he set a decision date, informed the Wolverines of his commitment and went public a few days later. "I think I've found the right spot," Jones said. "It checks everything off that I wanted to check off. I'm a big believer that if you can go accom- plish your dream, then you should go out and do it." Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner also played a key role in his verbal pledge. Warinner offered early and made him a priority. "He's a great coach," Jones said. "He's put a lot of guys in the league. It definitely makes me super excited. The NFL is Plan A." At 6-7, 285 pounds, Jones is rated as a three-star recruit by While he doesn't boast a high rank- ing just yet, Jones has a ton of upside and fits the mold of what Warinner likes in his left tackle recruits — tall, long and a willingness to be mean when run blocking. Jones earned first-team all-state honors as a junior this season and helped lead Palmer Ridge to the third round of the Colorado state playoffs. "Jones has a great build and an ath- letic frame, where it wouldn't sur- prise me if he adds another 20-30 pounds at Michigan and becomes an even more physical blocker," said national recruiting ana- lyst Adam Gorney. "In run block- ing, Jones looks most comfortable opening holes and driving defensive players back. "He's also pretty good in pass pro- tection but not a lot of that is shown on film." Jones is the fifth commit in Michi- gan's 2022 recruiting class, joining Rivals250 linebacker Tyler Martin, Rivals250 defensive tackle Alex Van- Sumeren, three-star defensive tackle Davonte Miles and three-star tight end Marlin Klein. Michigan is looking to take four more offensive linemen in the 2022 cycle. — EJ Holland Colorado Junior Offensive Lineman Connor Jones Commits To His Dream School PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: A towering left tackle at 6-7, Connor Jones brings the height that Michigan desires at the position. While skinny, Jones is already at 285 pounds and has the frame to easily add another 35 pounds. Jones knows how to use his length to keep edge rushers at bay in pass sets. He plays with a mean streak when run blocking and serves up several pancakes throughout the duration of his junior tape. Jones uses his hands well and plays with above average technique. He works with former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Matt McChesney, which is helping him advance his game. Weaknesses: With Jones, it's all about physical development. While he's at 285 pounds, he still looks thin. Adding 30 pounds while maintaining athleticism will be key to his projection. Jones also needs to work on flexibility. He doesn't seem like a natural bender and sometimes allows pass rushers to get under him. He can be a little slow out of his stance. While he plays physically, Jones can add more strength and power. That will come during his time in the Michigan strength and conditioning program. Michigan Player Comparison: Jones is a little more advanced at this stage of his high school career in terms of his weight, but he shares a lot of similarities with freshman tackle Jeffrey Persi. Like Persi, Jones has the height and length to go along with a nasty streak. Persi quickly vaulted up to 305 pounds at U-M, and it won't take long for Jones to get there either. Persi needed a redshirt year for physical development, and Jones will likely follow suit. However, both should be ready to make an impact in Ann Arbor in year two or three. — EJ Holland Jones "I've been a fan of Michigan my whole life. They are very strong in my degree plan [sports medicine]. … Also, you can't go wrong with The Big House." Jones, a 6-7, 285-pound offensive tackle, was named to the Colorado High School Athletic Association's Class 4A All-State first team as a junior. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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