- William Wilkerson, RecruitingNation
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AUSTIN, Texas -- Four-star wide receiver Cayleb Jones (Austin, Texas/Stephen F. Austin) has sent in his letter of intent to Texas.
Jones (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) is the No. 21 receiver and the No. 147 prospect overall in the ESPNU 150. Prior to the latest rankings, Jones was rated as the No. 3 receiver in the country.
Jones, an Under Armour All-American, has been committed to Texas since Feb. 27, 2011. He chose the Longhorns over offers from Auburn, UCLA, Florida, Iowa State, Notre Dame, East Carolina, North Carolina, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Miami, Oregon and Texas Tech.
Jones, whose father, Robert Jones, was a linebacker for multiple teams in the NFL, is one of three receivers in this class along with Kendall Sanders (Athens, Texas/Athens) and Marcus Johnson (League City, Texas/Clear Springs).
Scouts take: “Considering Jones’ size, he is a very gifted overall prospect in terms of athleticism, change-of-direction and speed. He is similar in tools to last year’s Trey Metoyer, who signed with Oklahoma. He is one of the more fluid receivers with size to come out of Texas in recent memory, which is why he is highly coveted, but is not a sudden, explosive player.”
Importance to class: The Longhorns will return their top four pass catchers in Mike Davis, Jaxon Shipley, Marquise Goodwin and D.J. Grant. So the importance of Jones might not seem so great at first. But, because of injury, poor quarterback play or other, none of those receivers really had standout seasons. There wasn’t that one receiver for Texas that had defenses losing sleep at night. But Jones has that ability with his physical presence and mental makeup. He’s been around the game for a long time because of his father, who introduced him to some of the NFL’s all-time great wide receivers specifically so he could shine at this stage of his life. He grew up in the shadows of the university and already has great friendships with several members on the team. Texas couldn’t let one of the nation’s best receivers get out of its own backyard. He was a must get, and they got him.
How soon can he make an impact? Jones will see plenty of playing time as a freshman. It’s just a matter of how soon he’ll see it. Miles Onyegbule was able to see playing time as a freshman last season and Jones appears to be much more polished than Onyegbule was at this stage in their careers. Given how Bryan Harsin likes to shuffle so many players in to the offense, look for Jones to be on the field in some capacity from Day 1.
Jones on signing with Texas: "It means a lot. A lot of people wish they could be a part of Texas and Longhorn Nation. It means a lot to me and a lot to my family and the people I grew up with. I’m excited."