Clemson has signed a few players from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., during Dabo Swinney’s tenure as head coach — most recently five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas and four-star linebacker Mike Jones, both of whom inked with the Tigers during the early signing period in December.
Another IMG Academy stud that Clemson has been recruiting is class of 2019 four-star linebacker Mikel Jones.
The Clemson Insider recently caught up with Jones to get the latest.
“I’m doing pretty good,” Jones said, “taking advantage of this offseason to prepare myself for spring ball.”
Jones (6-2, 210) is ranked as a top-10 outside linebacker and top-100 overall prospect in his class.
Clemson gave him one of his first offers in May 2016, and the Tigers remain one of the favorites in his recruitment.
“Clemson is still in the top four,” Jones said.
Jones is preparing to arrange visits for this offseason.
Along with Clemson, he claims power conference offers from Louisville, Georgia, West Virginia, South Carolina, LSU, Oregon, Syracuse, Iowa State and Utah.
“I plan on planning my visits next month,” Jones said. “Clemson will be one of the schools I’m going to visit.
“UGA, LSU, Clemson, Syracuse, South Carolina, Louisville are some I’m looking into.”
Jones made his first visit to Clemson for its spring game last April. He was accompanied by his mother, sister, grandparents, aunt and two coaches.
Clemson’s campus, facilities, family culture and the sincerity of the coaching staff left a positive impression on Jones.
What is he hoping to get out of his next visit to Tiger Town?
“The same feeling I had last spring because that was a nice visit,” Jones said. “I had a great time on campus.”
Jones transferred from Hialeah (Fla.) Mater Academy to IMG Academy last summer before the start of his junior year.
“I’ve improved a lot since I came here,” he said. “Mainly because I’ve invested more time in myself and worked on what I knew I wasn’t the best at. My speed has increased and my coverage has gotten way better.”
Jones is looking to commit to his school of choice in the fall.
He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 8 outside linebacker and No. 99 overall prospect in the 2019 class.