The Wolverine

March 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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70 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2021   COMMITMENT PROFILE I t didn't take long for 2022 defen- sive back Kody Jones to find his future home. The 6-0, 180-pounder out of Ger- mantown (Tenn.) High gave Michi- gan a verbal commitment Feb. 5, just a couple of weeks after notching an offer from the Wolverines. For Jones, the decision to pick U-M was greatly influenced by new co-defensive coor- dinator Maurice Linguist. "I'm committing to Michigan be- cause of the relationship I have with Coach Mo," Jones said. "The relation- ship we have is crazy. What we talk about and how we talk about it is real. I felt it in my heart. That's where I want to be. I know it in my heart, so why wait?" Jones — who is rated as a four-star talent, the No. 12 prospect in Ten- nessee and the No. 13 safety in the country by — commit- ted to Michigan over offers from Au- burn, Florida State, Ole Miss, Missis- sippi State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M and a number of other major programs from across the country. Linguist offered Jones less than 24 hours after accepting the Michigan co-defensive coordinator job in Janu- ary. While it was a quick turnaround, Jones felt comfortable with Linguist as both a coach and a person. "His résumé stands out," Jones said. "He's already done what I'm trying to do. That's a huge part of it. His personality is great. We talk about more than just football. I just feel like he's a real person. I trust him, and I feel like I'll be able to get the job done. I feel like we have each other's backs." Jones has never visited Michigan, but he is well aware of the pro- gram's tradition and history. He also has an affinity for head coach Jim Harbaugh. "Who doesn't want to play un- der Jim Harbaugh?" Jones asked. "I know the tradition is big. They've been winning for years. They play in the Big Ten. Michigan just seems like something I want to experience." Jones is listed as a safety, but Lin- guist has talked to him about playing more of a corner/nickel role. "He sees me fitting in well," Jones said. "The first night he got the job, he called me. I think I'm the first person he offered. He said he saw a couple of plays of my film and liked my mindset. He loves my instincts and the way I think. He knew right away that I was his guy." James Williams, who runs Pro Process Academy in Memphis (a training and mentorship program), coaches Jones on the club seven-on- seven circuit and believes he'll be a star under the guidance of Linguist. "With a coach like Mo Linguist coaching him, he's going to become so well-rounded on the field," Wil- liams said. "Mo is big with the de- velopment of the man and the player. That has to go together. "Coach Mo is a dog. If you're play- ing under a dog, you have no choice. He puts you in a spot where you're going to get to that plate, move some people out of the way and eat, or you're not going to eat. Kody is a dog, and he's going to eat. I'll tell you that." Jones has never visited Michigan, but hopes to get on campus soon. — EJ Holland ranks Jones as the No. 12 prospect in Tennessee and the No. 13 safety in the nation. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Kody Jones Jumps On Offer From U-M Co-Defensive Coordinator Maurice Linguist PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: Kody Jones is listed as a safety, but he brings a ton of versatility to the secondary. Michigan likes him as more of a cornerback or nickel. He has the chance to move around and be an impact player anywhere in the defensive backfield. He has speed and is extremely quick. He comes downhill in a hurry and isn't afraid to mix it up in the box. He also has terrific instincts and a knack for making plays on the ball. He has a really good frame and won't need too much develop- ment in the strength and conditioning program. Weaknesses: Jones is solid in all areas, but not necessarily special in any one. He is still raw from a technical standpoint and needs to continue to develop his skills at the cornerback position in particular. If he is going to move away from safety, he needs to be more comfortable in man coverage. He is at his best in zone, where he can make plays on the ball in space. He dis- plays the speed and strength you want in a defensive back, but he's not overly athletic. Michigan Player Comparison: While Jordan Morant was heavier coming out of high school, he possessed a lot of the same features as Jones. Morant was a safety that offered position flexibility. Michigan talked to him about playing some corner and nickel as well. Like Morant, Jones is a four-star prospect with potential and the ability to move around. — EJ Holland

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