'Hootie' Jones remains quiet on recruiting 

July, 10, 2013
7/10/13
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MONROE, La. -- Who is Laurence Jones? Most people know him as the top football recruit from Neville High School, ranked No. 23 in the ESPN 300 -- and No. 2 among safeties -- with scholarship offers from elite programs across the country. But those closest to him know him better as 'Hootie,' a nickname he received from his late grandmother when he was just months old.

“When I was younger and I was a baby, my eyes were so big like an owl, like a hoot owl, so they just started calling me 'Hootie,' ” Jones said.

[+] EnlargeLaurence Jones
Greg Ostendorf/ESPNESPN 300 safety 'Hootie' Jones doesn't talk much about his recruitment, but he did say Alabama is one of his favorites.
The nickname stuck. His friends now call him that. His coaches call him that. Even his teachers refer to him at Hootie during school. When Neville head coach Mickey McCarty first met Jones as a 7th grader, he was introduced to him not as Laurence but as Hootie. McCarty didn’t ask questions. He just went with it. Eventually, he too heard the story.

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