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Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM PRESEASON 2022 55 BY MIKE SINGER Malvern (Pa.) Prep class of 2024 of- fensive lineman Peter Jones ended his recruiting process early by announcing his commitment to Notre Dame Aug. 7, which was earlier than he originally planned to make a decision. Jones is a double Penn State legacy and visited State College, Pa., on sev- eral occasions. He took just two trips to South Bend — in April and at the end of July. He also visited Penn State at the end of July, which was a good opportu- nity to compare his two favorite schools. "My second visit reassured that Notre Dame felt like home to me," Jones said. "The similarities between Notre Dame and my high school are strong. It felt almost like second nature — the envi- ronment, community and size of the school. And the school itself is exactly what I was looking for." The original plan for Jones was to stretch his recruitment well into the fall and pick a program after his junior sea- son. But after the ND and PSU trips, Jones spoke with his high school head coach, Dave Gueriera, about his next steps. "At first, I thought it would've been better so I could focus on my season and not worry about recruiting," Jones explained. "My coach was helping me through the process. After I had the July visits, it was clear to me that Notre Dame is where I wanted to be. My coach said, 'If you already know, then what's your hesitation?' "Once September 1 hits, then my phone would be blowing up because coaches can contact me, and I didn't want to deal with that during the sea- son. That helped make the decision." Jones, who is the nation's No. 19 of- fensive tackle and No. 260 overall player according to On3, informed the Notre Dame staff and other coaches of pro- grams that he was considering of his choice to pick the Irish Aug. 4. Jones spoke with Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and offensive co- ordinator Tommy Rees first and then head coach Marcus Freeman. "Coach Hiestand was ecstatic. He was really happy for me," Jones added. "His message was reassuring that this is a great fit and decision, and that I won't regret it. It's going to be amazing." Both of Jones' parents went to Penn State as well as several other members of his family. There was a bit of a hurdle to clear for Jones not to pick the in-state program that his family loved dearly, but after getting his parents and grandpar- ents on campus, they fell in love with Notre Dame, too. His parents raved about Hiestand. Jones' grandfather was already a Notre Dame fan, so he didn't need any con- vincing. And Jones' grandmother spent a few hours at the Basilica during the July visit. She was sold on Notre Dame. "Once I put the family ties to Penn State aside and focused on the schools and what's best for me, the decision was a no-brainer," he said. "Coach Hiestand helped seal it. My family kept saying how genuine the whole coaching staff is." Jones reports that he's 6-5¼ and 297 pounds. He's a tackle at the high school level but could play guard or tackle at the next level. The four-star recruit helped pave the way for Malvern Prep to run for 1,829 yards and 22 touchdowns in 10 games. The Friars captured the Inter-Academic League conference championship, and Jones was named second-team all-con- ference on offense. ✦ FILM ANALYSIS "He's outstanding. He can play guard or tackle. He's versatile and a powerhouse kid but has flexibility. Jones has natural knee bend and runs well laterally. He's no doubt the best offensive lineman in the entire East. He has to rank among the top 10 in the country; he's that good. "It's a big catch for them early in the cycle and shows what Harry Hiestand can do. All his family does is talk about how much they love Hiestand." — Prep football report recruiting analyst Tom Lemming COMMITMENT PROFILE PETER JONES Irish Beat Out Penn State For 2024 Offensive Lineman Jones, seen here with Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman, is the nation's No. 19 offensive tackle and No. 260 overall player in the class of 2024 according to On3. He picked the Fighting Irish over Penn State, his parents' alma mater. PHOTO COURTESY PETER JONES "Once I put [the family ties to Penn State] aside and focused on the school and what's best for me, the decision was a no-brainer." JONES ON COMMITTING TO NOTRE DAME

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