Pulaski Academy football coach Kevin Kelly and the Bruins are trying for a fourth straight Class 5A state title. A large Arkansas commit leads the way.
Razorback pledge Luke Jones (6-foot-5, 290 pounds), who got a long-awaited offer on June 18 after his performance at the Trench Hog Camp in Fayetteville, is set to be a force at tackle this season with his recruitment out of the way and his head clear.
"I think he is really happy that he has made his college choice and people don't realize how difficult it is for kids not knowing where they are going to be next year," Kelly said. "It's different when you are a non-student-athlete because you just pick where you want to go if they will let you and you pay for it. It is not necessarily that way in the world of athletics as you really have to go where they select you to go. You don't even get to apply.
"But it is a big relief for him. When he was getting offers from everybody but Arkansas, in the back of his mind he wanted Arkansas to offer, but was beginning to worry it might not happen and on comes a little more stress. But Arkansas comes through and did offer and it made his world a lot better."
Jones, who had about 15 offers before the UA called, waited more than a month before committing even though he had longed for the offer.
"I think he did it right," Kelly said. "He didn't respond immediately and we talked about not making your decision on emotion and to take your time and make sure you are making the right choice. In a week when the media stops calling and people are saying 'I'm happy you are going to Arkansas' are you still going to be happy with your decision?' He is extremely intelligent and just handled it great."
Kelly said there is a lot to like about Jones, one of 12 Razorback commits in the 2018 class and one of two offensive line pledges along with Jonesboro's Noah Gatlin (6-7, 300).
"His best attribute is probably being as quick as he is for his size and he has great athleticism to be as big as he is," Kelly said. "He bends well at the knees and has quick feet. I also think he sees things well. He played basketball for a lot of his life and I think basketball really, really helped him."
"He is an intelligent young man and can process through a lot of things very well and understands concepts and you can throw a lot of stuff at him. We give our tackles the ability to make calls and checks and he is very good at that."
Jones plays tackle for Pulaski Academy, but is slotted for guard at Arkansas.
"Arkansas has told him he is going to play guard up there," Kelly said, "but to me he is a tackle for sure and a lot of schools offered him as a tackle. I think they see him as a big guard and maybe the ability to move his feet and get out on screens is what they see. The fact that he can go from sideline to sideline is great."
Sports on 08/17/2017
Print Headline: Pulaski Academy's Jones glad to be a Hog