Name: Mikel Jones
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High School: IMG Academy
2018 stats: A team captain on IMG, Jones had 16 tackles in his senior year, and played his way into one of the best linebacker prospects in the state of Florida.
2019 projections: An early enrollee, Jones steps into a weak linebacking core for the Syracuse Orange. He’s already on the two-deep depth chart, behind returning starter Andrew Armstrong. I’m bullish on Jones; he has all the tools necessary to become an impact player at the position and already has the size to compete. Should he catch up to game speed, Jones could very well be a regular rotation player come conference play.
How’d he get here?: Jones was recruited by a bunch of Power Five programs in the South, including LSU, Kentucky, and Ole Miss. Ultimately, thanks to his mother and former (and now current) teammate Andre Cisco, Jones picked the Orange.
What’d recruiting sites say?: Four Stars from ESPN, three stars from 247 Composite — but almost four. He was four stars through most of his recruitment, however. He was a consensus top-25 linebacker in the country, and he made Rivals’ top 350 prospects in the country.
Money quote: Jones and fellow linebacker addition Lee Kpogba visited ‘Cuse at the same time. On the flight back, both were ready to bleed orange.
“I was telling him like, ‘Man, this might be the move,’” Kpogba said. “He was like, ‘We should definitely come here.’”
Twitter feed: @_Mikel12
Tweets of wonder: Mostly wanted an excuse to post this video again.
What movie would Dino recommend for him?: Not so much a movie, but “Prison Break” is a great TV to watch when you’re out of stuff in the que, and features a couple episodes where Mike Jones plays a character named Darius.
Interesting nugget o’interest: Jones is one of four IMG Academy products currently on the roster, along with Cisco, Kevin Johnson Jr. and fellow linebacker Juan Wallace. That’s a pretty high number for a non-SEC/Florida school.
Let’s get a look at ya: Here’s assistant coach Justin Lustig talking up Jones on National Signing Day.