Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 24, 2014 Issue

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

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PREP PROFILES Evanston (Ill.) Township four-star de- fensive tackle Naquan Jones is already considered one of the top players in the state of Illinois, but he may have the most upside as well. The 6-4, 283-pound recruit already holds offers from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin, but his recruitment is ex- pected to take off in a big way in the com- ing months. "I'm hoping that Notre Dame, Ne- braska, Purdue and Missouri are next to offer," Jones said. "I've talked to the coaches. They are all evaluating me. I think they could of- fer soon. I think Ohio State could offer, too." The 2016 recruit is doing a good job of handling the attention on the recruiting trail. Although the early offers could go to the heads of some recruits, that's not the case for Jones. "It feels incredible, but it just makes me work harder," Jones said. "My team- mates know that I have offers, but they don't let me get complacent. They push me even harder in the workouts, dur- ing games and at practice. I like that. It makes me want to get even more offers." Notre Dame will be a top player in Jones' recruitment. Although the Irish haven't offered, the junior standout re- ally became interested after first visiting South Bend this past spring. "I had a great time when I was up there," Jones said. "Notre Dame is an in- credible place. They have great facilities, a really nice prac- tice facility and the campus was pretty incredible. It was a great visit as a whole. " N o t r e D a m e would be at or near the top of the list if they offer. I really like the program and the school a lot. It's all about family, and they have a big brotherhood on and off the field. It was just great when I was there last time." There is also a connection with the Irish and Jones that is working in Notre Dame's favor. Jones regularly works out with Ivan Simmons and EFT Sports Performance. Simmons is the cousin of Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson. "I'm hoping to get back to Notre Dame with Ivan for a visit before the end of the season," Jones said. "I'd probably just go with him if he goes up there to see a game or see Everett. If not, I'll get up there with him again after the season." — Tom Loy Illinois Four-Star Defensive Tackle Is High On Irish NAQUAN JONES ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Evanston Township High School Evanston, Ill. Status: Not Offered Class: 2016 Position: Defensive Tackle Ht.: 6-4 · Wt.: 283 40-Yard Dash: 4.88 247Sports Rankings: No. 24 defensive tackle in the land and No. 6 player in Illinois

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