Laurence Jones has speed, power and size for safety
By Dave Friedman
There are no words to help an Alabama fan feel better following Saturday’s loss at Auburn. Some have suggested that having the top recruiting class in the country, a group that includes tackle Cameron Robinson, defensive end Da’Shawn Hand, and elite athlete Bo Scarbrough, at very least should motivate fans to be optimistic going forward. Two days after the loss to the Tigers, Laurence Jones committed to Alabama. The safety from Neville High School in Monroe, La., is yet another piece to a talented puzzle that ensures the Crimson Tide will remain in the National Title picture for years to come.
In addition to his frame, 6’2” and 220 pounds, Alabama coach Nick Saban should love Jones’ dedication and discipline.
“He made the decision shortly after January 1 that he was going to graduate early,” said Neville coach Mickey McCarty. “I’m really proud of that accomplishment. It’s a big sacrifice to leave high school and miss out on the second semester of senior year. He’s an intelligent young man who was ahead of the curve. He took a local university course, I think English, over the summer while working. He has a great personality, is well liked, and has a great attitude and smile. He’s polite and intelligent and any university would be proud to have him”
On the field, Jones profiles as the type of player scouts drool over.
“He’s got it all, speed, power, and size,” said McCarty. “When you see him, he looks the part. He has an impressive physical stature.”
While he has spent most of his time in high school playing at corner, McCarty thinks that Jones will make for a very good safety. That said, the adjustment may take time, and he is still a work in progress.
“His weak point is that he needs to become a better tackler,” said McCarty. “He has battled a high ankle sprain this year and at times team’s have gone after him when he was hurt. For most of his career team’s shied away from him. Overall he’s done a really nice job. He has a couple of pick sixes.”
McCarty admits that he is from Louisiana and enjoys when his players stay in the state, but supports Jones’ decision and says that it really came down to the total package.
“Just look at the success that they’ve had, how strong they are right now, and the phenomenal facilities,” said McCarty. “I think they did a really good job using other guys from this area that committed to Alabama, and former players to help recruit him. Coach Saban is also known as a great defensive backs coach.”
While McCarty thinks that red-shirting Jones is possible, and he needs to work on skill development, there is little doubt he’ll make a major impact.
“Athletically, he’s as good as anybody,” said McCarty. “I went to an NFL camp a few years ago, when he was a junior, and physically he looks as good or better than a lot of those guys.”