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March 7, 2013
The recruiting process has become "crazy," in the words of Rivals100 offensive tackle Jamarco Jones out of Chicago, but the 6-foot-5, 285-pound prospect has a game plan to work his way toward a final decision. He laid out that plan this week.
"I am probably going to narrow it down in May sometime, after the spring visit period has ended," Jones said. "At this point, everyone has a great chance. I want to try to be as open-minded as possible. There are going to be some schools on the list that I haven't visited yet, and I am going to keep an open-mind about that because I know I want to get on those campuses as well at some point in time.
"Every school right now has equal opportunity, I am just trying to gather as much information and build relationships with coaching staffs."
Jones holds 28 scholarship offers and said he expects to have his list down to around eight schools when he narrows it in May. His final decision is expected to follow a few months later.
"I am still going to make my decision before the season actually starts," Jones said. "It probably will be the week of our first game."
Getting to that top eight will require additional trips to schools this spring. He has already seen several programs in-person, and has more planned in the coming weeks.
"I am still looking to go to a couple schools around the Midwest like Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and possibly Iowa," Jones said. "The only one that is set is Michigan State. I am going to their spring game, but I am also probably going to go to some practices there as well. I also want to get out to Vanderbilt and Florida, too."
As the nation's No. 94 prospect, Jones is a high-profile recruit who is well known by other recruits around the country. His travels have introduced him to other top players in the region, several of whom are encouraging the four-star lineman to join them at their schools.
"I talk with Wisconsin [commits] George Panos and Jaden Gault," Jones said. "Then, some of the Ohio State recruits I talk to as well. I talk to Jimmy Byrne, and he has messaged me about Notre Dame. It's not really too much recruiting, more about if I have any questions about the school they can help me out."