Jones Is Peeking At The Irish

Weis, Brown and Polian visited Jones recently.

Datone Jones is still verbally committed to UCLA, but the four-star defensive end from Compton, Calif., is peeking around. One of the schools Jones is looking at is Notre Dame.

Recently, a few Irish coaches have gotten to look at Datone Jones in person.

Defensive coordinator Corwin Brown came by Compton High on Monday, and head coach Charlie Weis and assistant Brian Polian were there last week.

"It was cool talking to them," Jones said. He is also considering Colorado, Oregon and Arizona State as possible alternatives to UCLA. "Charlie Weis showed me that Super Bowl ring. It's real big.

"They said they're going to set up a trip to my house.

"(Coach Brown) was talking about how I would fit in at Notre Dame. He said it's not really a big school, and said that would help me focus on school more, and not everything else. He said he was going to stay in touch with me."

Notre Dame has always been staying in touch through email. Jones said that Brown and Polian regularly send him messages.

The 6-foot-4, 233-pound Jones and the Irish coaches also talked about setting up a potential visit.

"They told me whenever I want to set up a visit, I could set one up," Jones said. USC assistant coach Ken Norton Jr., also came by the school last week. "I'm going to be busy all this month with my schooling, so it would have to be next year."

Jones might be free this weekend, but promised the Colorado coaching staff that he'd visit there if he could.

Jones also said that he thinks he is fully qualified for Notre Dame, scoring a 900 on his SAT, and stated academics is one of the many reasons why he is interested in the Irish.

"Oh man, I just like them," Jones said. "I love Notre Dame. I'm a fan. I watch them play every weekend. They're on TV all the time. Ninety-eight percent of their players graduate. I plan on graduating wherever I go.

"To me, I think they just had some mishaps this year. You have to look at their depth chart. They had a lot of young players. You have to look at who they're bringing in."

The Irish already have 21 verbal commits, and look to be bringing in the nation's top recruiting class. Adding a player like Jones would solidify that.

Jones had 110 tackles, 36 of those coming for loss, including 13 sacks, helping Compton High to a 8-3 record. He also had an interception, and felt that he got slighted by the U.S. Army All-American game selection committee.

"I think I'm better than the d-ends that made it," Jones stated.

While Jones is verbally committed to UCLA, everyone will have to wait until national signing day, when he announces live on FSN.

With head coach Karl Dorrell getting let go from UCLA, what's keeping the program in the mix with Jones is that the rest of the coaching staff is still there.

"If they don't get fired, I'm still good."

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