Laurence Jones is a consensus four-star recruit from Monroe (La.) Neville High School. Jones is physically imposing for a safety, standing 6'2 and weighing in at 220 pounds. He's rated as a four-star recruit by each of the four major recruiting services, and is rated as one of the top seven safety prospects in the 2014 recruiting class. He's also considered among the top recruits in the state of Louisiana.
Jones' offer sheet is not particularly long, but it includes some of the very best college football programs from across the country. As of late December, Jones holds offers from Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas A&M.
You can follow Jones on Twitter at @LJ7_Era. Here's a taste of what you can expect:
Finna go to the mall and cop these pants.!— LockDown (@LJ7_Era) December 18, 2013
Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst: Laurence Jones is a big-bodied athlete with tremendous length and the frame to easily work his way into the range of 225 pounds.
Due to his size and anticipated physical development there’s been speculation that Jones might eventually shift over to linebacker at the collegiate level. However, at this point; his fluidity and ball skills make for a safe projection to the safety position.
Primarily lining up at cornerback, Jones can flip his hips and shows good T-step burst, although he has a tendency to play a bit flat-footed through his drop. Also, he displays the ability to run downfield with receivers and locate the football in the air. The latter being the trait that stands to carry over to the next level. He instinctively uses his length to disrupt passing windows as well. Jones is a long, high-cut athlete. Therefore, he requires a few extra steps to transition out of his backpedal, especially on outbreaking routes that require him to slow his momentum and drive back towards the ball.
Due to his current size and future growth potential, Jones translates better lining up closer to the line of scrimmage as an ‘in the box’ or strong safety. His experience at corner should translate into plus reactive quickness at safety, a position where things tend to develop at a slower rate than they do at corner.
From a scheme perspective, Jones could function in the deep halves in Cover 2 alignments as well. Not sure if he has the lateral burst to operate as a single high safety. however.
Based on available film, I would like to see him add more physicality to his game. He has imposing size but wouldn't necessarily be described as a knockout hitter or forceful striker when opposing wide receivers venture into his area. Overall, Jones has all the tools necessary.