MISSION VIEJO, Calif. -- As one of the nation’s top recruits in the 2015 class, ESPN Junior 300 tight end Alize Jones (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) has garnered considerable attention early in the process.
But just because the accolades began to arrive some two years before his national signing day doesn’t mean Jones is ready to speed up his approach.
“It’s something different and I’m having fun with it,” Jones said Friday following a thrilling double-overtime victory against Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Catholic. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I’ve talked to a bunch of coaches. I’m really enjoying it. They’re all great guys.”
The 6-foot-4, 212-pound Jones already holds a dozen scholarship offers and is rated No. 1 among tight ends in the 2015 class. He ranks No. 45 overall in the ESPN Junior 300.
With former Bishop Gorman tight end Xavier Grimble on the Trojans’ roster, Jones has watched USC games with keen interest the last couple of seasons.
“I like the Trojans a lot,” Jones said. “Seeing what Xavier Grimble has been doing up there is great. I look up to him because when he was here at Gorman, he was the No. 2 tight end [in the nation]. I try to pick up some things he does and put that in my game.”
Jones intends to focus on his own season this fall before deciding which schools he will unofficially visit next offseason. Baylor, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee and UCLA are some notable schools that, like USC, have extended offers.
“They’re all neutral right now,” Jones said. “I won’t really know until I take my visits, but I’m starting to develop relationships with some coaches.”
Jones saw his recruitment take off after a stellar showing in the spring at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp, which 2014 standout Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) also attended. The hype only increased following a strong summer.
“It means a lot,” Jones said of his top billing. “It’s a blessing. It just shows that hard work pays off. But that doesn’t make me comfortable. I always know my job can be taken, my spot can be taken. I work hard every day to show people I should be No. 1.”