Shaquille Jones is a 6-foot-2, 175-pound cornerback out of Heritage High School in Palm Bay, Florida. The young man has shown off the type of speed and ball-hawking ability that, along with his size, makes coaches at the collegiate level drool.
In fact, according to PrepForce.com, Miami, Florida State, Oregon, Mississippi State and Central Florida have all shown medium to high levels of interest. Of course, his final season, his final opportunity to impress the head coaches of these pr0grams and others, is still a ways away. However, Jones is working hard, literally every day, to make sure a great impression is made when the opportunity presents itself.
The life of a high school student is not easy, however. Whether one participates in team sports, the marching band, or one of several clubs, there are anxieties, there are pressures, there are successes and there are failures. Making the leap from the prep ranks and up to the collegiate level takes the type of hard work, dedication and commitment few teenagers understand — or choose to embark upon.
However, Jones has.
The young cover-corner was nice enough to take a few minutes out of his busy day to go over life as a high school star trying to balance school, football, and a social life.
First things first, what’s going on in the recruiting process?
Well, right now it’s kind of just starting. Some coaches have called my coach, but nothing really serious.
We’ve seen your film, obviously you want to play big-time football?
Well, what kind of steps have you taken to make that happen?
Two schools I’ve gotten my film in front of are Miami and Mississippi State. They say they like it and they want to keep in touch.
That’s huge, what are some of your biggest selling points? What types of personal attributes really kind of help you stand out?
Well, I run a 4.5, and I’m 6-foot-2, 170.
So they like the fact that you’re a bigger corner?
Makes sense. How did you do for Heritage last year?
We went 10-2, and we lost to Palm Bay twice.
Well, that’s not bad at all. Now, what happens if you have a big senior season?
I think colleges will get a good feel for how talented I am.
And would you want to stay in Florida? I know you said Mississippi State liked your highlight tape.
Well, yeah, I’d like to stay. Really, the only out-of-state schools I’d like to go to are Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon, those types of places. Of course, then there’s Florida.
Those aren’t the smallest programs in the world. What are you doing to prepare for your season?
Right now, we’ve just got offseason workouts, and I’m also doing track right now. I do the 100, 200, 4X100 and the long jump. This is my first year doing it, just to try to keep in shape for football.
Do you feel like you’re getting good work when you are on the track?
Yes sir, because the sprinters do a lot of resistance band work. We run, and our coach holds them; and sometimes we run with sandbags, because that just adds to it. We’re doing a lot of speed work because we are the sprinters, of course.
You’re trying to bump that 40 time into the 4.4 range?
I’m trying. I work hard, I’m trying to get there.
Of course. Well, what sort of routine do you have to try to make this all happen?
Routine? (Chuckles) Well, go to school. Then, after school I go to football workouts, and then, when the football workout’s over, I go to track practice. After track practice I come home and do my homework – do whatever I have to do for school.
So, what are we looking at? About four hours a day of exercise?
Ohhh … (laughs) Probably longer.
That’s awesome, what about weekends?
Weekends? I don’t – well, I get Saturday off, and then Sunday I go to 7-on-7 practice.
Ok, so that’s a little more open in terms of scheduling. Do you play receiver at all or strictly corner?
I do play a little wide receiver but I prefer to play corner most of the time.
You’re a taller guy like you said. How much of the game do you study? What are your film sessions like?
Yeah, we do a lot of studying. They write notes on what we do wrong and have us work on it over the week. We’ve got to first watch it over the weekend.
Ok, well, what are the next steps? What are you getting excited about?
Well, of course, I want to have a great season, but I want to have at least a few D-I offers. I’m just ready to get on the field. If any college coaches are looking, they’ll see me working hard and getting better.
Alright, and what is something that you feel like might give you an advantage over another 6-foot-2 corner that’s practicing out in California or Texas or wherever else?
Well, yeah, it’s the football workouts and track. Then for the other players, for the speedy people, we go to the beach to run in the sand, to run in the water, stuff like that.
Can’t do that in the heart of Texas. Do you feel like playing against the elite recruits in the state of Florida provides you with an advantage as well?
Yes sir. The best guy I’ve covered is probably Caleb Owls from Palm Bay High. He only caught one pass. It was in the playoff game that he caught a pass.
Nicely done. OK, let’s go back to some standard high school stuff. What do you do in your free time? Do you watch TV or read books or anything like that?
Yup, besides football.
Well, I really just hang out with my friends. Sit in the house, talk. Sometimes we’ll go out to the mall and shop and stuff.
Well, that’s pretty much it from my end. Is there anything else you’d like to share, Shaq?
Actually, just that, if any college brings me in they’ll be getting a hard working DB, on and off the field and will give 110-percent in everything I do.