Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2015

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

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FOOTBALL RECRUITING Irish. The staff, led by offensive coor- dinator Mike Denbrock and tight ends coach Scott Booker, did a great job hosting the U.S. Army All-American and his parents over the weekend. The key was getting Jones' parents comfortable with sending their son so far away from home to attend school. One source even stated, "Jones wants to be in Notre Dame. All that is left is getting his parents on board." Another factor working in favor of Notre Dame is the fact that Jones' best friend and teammate, three-star safety Nicco Ferttita, is firmly committed to the Irish. Having a close friend with him in South Bend will further ease the minds of both Jones and his family. Per 247Sports, Jones is the No. 135 overall player in the land, the nation's No. 1 tight end and the No. 2 prospect in Nevada. Notre Dame has always wanted to land two running backs in the class of 2015. The Irish have already secured a commitment from Warrington (Pa.) Central Bucks South four-star Josh Ad- ams. Now, their attention is focused on landing one of two top backs — McKinney (Texas) North four-star Ronald Jones II or Miami Westminster Christian Academy four-star Jordan Cronkrite. It's going to be Notre Dame or USC for Jones, a 6-0, 189-pound Under Ar- mour All-American who was previ- ously committed to Oklahoma State. The Irish coaching staff pushed all the right buttons during his time on campus, and made both Jones and his mother feel very welcome in South Bend. "It was great," Jones said. "From the start to the end, it was a lot of fun. It's an elite program from the football side and the academic side. I had a great ex- perience with my hosts, [wide receiver] Torii Hunter and [running back] Tar- ean Folston. "My mom told me she likes Notre Dame a lot. This was a big trip for her. She won't hold me back at all anymore. Location is no longer an issue for her. She loved this place. She said it's an excellent school and the coaches really care about their players." Per 247Sports, Jones is the No. 205 overall prospect in the nation, the No. 19 running back in the country and the No. 27 recruit in Texas. Cronkrite, a 5-11, 196-pound U.S. Army All-American, is expected to end up at one of three schools — Notre Dame, West Virginia or Louisville. If the Irish miss on Jones, look for the staff to put the full-court press on se- curing a commitment from Cronkrite. "I had a good time," the Sunshine State product said. "I had a lot of fun with the players, coaches and the com- mits that were on campus. I got to learn a lot about the academic oppor- tunities, and that was big for me. It was all really impressive. "[Wide receiver] Corey Holmes was my host. He was cool. He was saying that he adjusted really well to leaving Florida last year and going to Notre Dame. He was a little worried about it before he got here, but he loves it now." Prior to leaving South Bend, Cronkrite got a chance to sit down and talk with Notre Dame head coach

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