By Keith McGonigle.
TheClemsonInsider.com continues our series of coaches corners as we hear directly from the head coaches about the top prospects. In this edition Stephenson High head coach Ron Gartrell breaks down top defensive end Jarontay Jones.
How long have you been coaching/who are the best player(s) you have ever seen and coached?
Coach Gartrell: Several NFL and college guys: Kregg Lumpkin (Tampa Bucs), Jermaine Cunningham (Patriots), Perry Riley (Redskins), Kelvin Sheppard (LSU) Nigel Mitchell-Thornton (Tennessee), Marcus Ball (Memphis) Michael Grant (Canadian Football), Mike Thornton (Georgia), Reggie Ball (GT), DeMario Minter (Georgia), My son TJ Gartrell (Georgia), Brandon Cannon (Clemson) probably dozen or more.
What are Jarontay’s strengths?
Coach Gartrell: Well he is a very determined young man with a great work ethic. He has tremendous strength, excellent size for a guy that plays his position, and can run real well. He can bull rush, and get to the quarterback, he had 13-14 sacks for us last year.
What does he need to continue to improve on?
Coach Gartrell: Well he could improve his speed, but Jarontay does not have a whole lot of weaknesses. He does not want to work on one thing to get better at; he wants to get better at everything. His hips may be a little stiff, but he has great technique and hands.
What play or game did he make that made you realize he could be a division 1 player?
Coach Gartrell: Well there are many of great plays and games. He draws a lot of attention to himself when people are going to throw. They usually bring an extra guy to block him. He is relentless, I’ve seen him fall down several times and get up and make the play.
What type of person is he off the field?
Coach Gartrell: Very gentle young man. He is very respectful, gets good grades, and has never been in any trouble. He is not the type of kid that you’re going to see doing extra running after practice. He hates to make mistakes, loves to win, and carries himself the same way on and off the field.
What positions does he play for you?
Coach Gartrell: Defensive end. We worked him some at offensive line, he can slide other places on the defensive line, but because we have great depth we don’t need him to play other positions.
How do you project him at the college level?
Coach Gartrell: I think he’ll do real well. He is very coachable, and he applies things you teach him on the field. He’s got a great motor, and he is never satisfied. I think he is going to do fine.
How many offers does he have?
Coach Gartrell: Not quite sure I sure it’s 20-plus
Which teams/coaches are recruiting them the hardest right now?
Coach Gartrell: Well I think Auburn and Florida, but all the people recruiting him are recruiting him pretty hard. He has been on a visit to all those places he is looking at. I can see him making a decision soon, and sticking with it until end of year. He has visited everywhere; I would not be surprised by a commitment early. Then again if he is not ready he won’t make a decision.
Does Clemson have a good chance of getting Jarontay?
Coach Gartrell: I’m sure they do. We had one of our better defensive ends play at Clemson, Brandon Cannon, I don’t know if he has been talking to him though.
What school do you see him fitting in best?
Coach Gartrell: It’s difficult for me to answer that. We give our kids an opportunity to visit as many schools as they can, if he needs help we can offer it, but we expect him to make a decision based on what is best for him.
Who is another player that you would compare him to?
Coach Gartrell: I compare him a lot to Brandon Cannon from Clemson, same size, same type of motor, same type of work ethic, same off-the-field kid. He will be as good or better, than Brandon, nothing less than him.
13. Height/Weight/40 time?
Coach Gartrell: 6’3” maybe taller, 240 lbs. He can add weight; he will probably grow a little bit taller too. I don’t know his 40 time.