With Lawrence, Venables on board, Jones excited about '18 class

With Lawrence, Venables on board, Jones excited about '18 class

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With Lawrence, Venables on board, Jones excited about '18 class

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Clemson commitment Mike Jones recently wrapped up an undefeated season with powerhouse IMG Academy.

The four-star linebacker helped lead his team to an 11-0 record and No. 4 ranking nationally by MaxPreps.

The Clemson Insider caught up with Jones, who said his junior season felt special.

“It was great,” he said. “Thinking about all the time we spent preparing and grinding really made it special.”

The Ascenders outscored their opposition by 297 points, and Jones helped anchor a defense that allowed an average of just 9.45 points per game.

It was Jones’ first season at IMG after transferring from Friendship Christian in Lebanon, Tenn.

“It was a great season. I came in and learned a difficult defense,” Jones said. “It was a lot of fun playing with the best players.”

At Clemson in two years, Jones will again have the chance to play with some of the nation’s best players.

Having been the sole commit in Clemson’s 2018 class since June, Jones and Clemson welcomed two new additions to the class this week in Cartersville (Ga.) five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Central (S.C.) four-star linebacker Jake Venables.

Lawrence committed on Thursday night before Venables followed suit on Sunday morning.

“I’m really excited,” Jones said of the ’18 class. “I really think we’ll end up with the No. 1 class.”

Jones reached out to Lawrence with a phone call right after his announcement.

“I just told him congratulations,” Jones said, “and we talked about our class’s potential.”

The potential to add more top-notch talent in the ’18 class is certainly there for the Tigers, who are in the top group of contenders for Florence (S.C.) five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas and Laurinburg (N.C.) five-star running back Zamir White.

Thomas announced a top two of Clemson and South Carolina on Tuesday, and he will be teammates with Jones as a senior after opting to transfer from Wilson High to IMG Academy.

How does Jones feel about Clemson’s chances with Thomas?

“I think we get X,” Jones said.

Jones plans to visit Clemson again for Junior Day.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder said he will be working hard over the offseason to prepare for his final season before Clemson.

“Really just trying to get bigger and faster before spring ball,” he said.

Jones is a top-150 player nationally and a top-10 player at his position in the 2018 class according to 247Sports.

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