- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. -- ESPN 150 running back Tyren Jones has stayed out of the news for the most part this summer, but a recent visit to Georgia with his teammate Brandon Kublanow has raised some questions about his commitment to Alabama.
Jones is one of two running backs already committed to the Crimson Tide, but UA might try and add at least one more back to the class, which has caused concerns with the incoming depth at the position.
However, the 5-foot-8, 190-pound Jones met with the Alabama coaching staff this summer, and he’s confident he can still earn his spot when he gets to Tuscaloosa.
“I’m not worried,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to the competition, whoever’s coming in. I talked to Coach [Nick] Saban and Coach [Burton] Burns, and they told me that they’re looking forward to me coming.
“They told me that they’re only going to have three guys that’s going to be there. They’re offering a couple guys. Basically, the best person is going to win the job.”
On his last visit to UA, Jones worked one-on-one with Burns at the Tide’s camp. It was the only camp he attended all summer. The Alabama running backs coach had high praise for the Georgia native and even compared him to a former Tide star.
“The camp was pretty good,” Jones said. “I spent a little one-on-one time with the running backs coach and did some drills. Other then that, I just sat down, watched film on myself, and he told me what he was looking forward to me doing better.
“He told me I reminded him of Mark Ingram. I took that as a compliment and tried to model my game after his game to become a better running back.”
Walton High School quarterback and fellow Alabama commitment Parker McLeod knows Jones better than anybody. He believes his high school teammate is talented enough to compete with anybody once he get to Tuscaloosa.
“He’s not afraid of competition at all, and I don’t think he really should be,” McLeod said. “He’s a great back, and I think he can compete with anyone that Alabama’s got. That’s not a knock on Alabama. They obviously have a bunch of great running backs, but I think he can compete with anyone they have. He shouldn’t be too worried it.”
Still, other schools are trying to use the depth issue against the Tide when recruiting Jones. He said he’s still hearing from Cal, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and UCLA, but the biggest threat may be the in-state Bulldogs.
“They try to get up on it and push me, but I’m not worried about it,” Jones said. “Basically, I just take their word for it and deal with it.”
At Walton, Jones has teammates pulling him in both directions, but his quarterback believes the two will play together at Alabama one day.
“I think he’s 100 percent solid to Alabama,” McLeod said. “The running back situation with the depth chart is concerning him a little bit, but I don’t think he’s going to go anywhere else.”
5dSam Khan Jr.