- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
The Iowa coaching staff could not have planned for a better recruiting pitch than the one Jeff Jones (Minneapolis/Washburn) received Sunday.
The Hawkeyes coaches were in the ear of Jones all Sunday afternoon, and then Iowa three-star safety commit Malik RuckerMalik Rucker took the night shift. Rucker, who also hails from Minnesota, rode with Jones to and from Iowa.
Several of Iowa’s other 2013 commitments were also on hand throughout Sunday.
“Basically they were telling me that the coaches, they’ll take care of you no matter what,” Jones said while on his way home next to Rucker. “It’s a great place to be. It’s all about Iowa football.”
One of the Midwest’s top 2014 running backs, Jones was making his first visit to Iowa since adding an offer in early June. Jones picked up the offer after performing at a camp assistant coach Eric Johnson was at, and Johnson offered shortly after.
“It was really good,” Jones said of his visit. “We were in Iowa City, where it’s all about Iowa football. It’s about the players. The coaches are down to earth.”
Jones will be back in Iowa City during the season to visit when the Hawkeyes host Penn State. He will also make it to Notre Dame once again for the Fighting Irish’s game against Michigan.
Illinois, Iowa State, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin have all offered Jones, who does not have any favorites. Iowa and Minnesota are showing him the most interest, though, he said.
The visit was also Rucker’s first since he committed to Iowa while on campus earlier this summer. It was a chance for him to already begin building relationships with the other 2013 pledges.
“It was a good thing for us to be able to connect already and see how we act before we get into camp and training,” Rucker said. “When we get here we’ll have someone to talk to and we‘re not going to be shocked and stuff.”
548dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert