|Mike Jones (#27)|
Weight: 224 lbs.
High school: Orlando (FL) Edgewater
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I ranked Jones #33 and said he would be the backup WILL. He was a backup WILL, but he was mostly buried on the bench and made 4 total tackles.
As you can see from last year's post, I am not a fan of Jones's abilities. Because of the lack of depth at linebacker, I assumed he would be in the mix for playing time, but he was beaten out by Brandin Hawthorne, Brandon Herron, and freshman Desmond Morgan, each of whom started at least one game at WILL. Jones always seems to be a step slow, which is especially a problem when you're a 224 lb. inside linebacker who's not a particularly big hitter.
I've seen enough of Jones getting passed up to assume that he will once again be an end-of-the-bench guy. Herron graduated, but Morgan and Hawthorne are still around, along with redshirt freshman Antonio Poole; now freshmen Kaleb Ringer and James Ross join the fray. Middle linebacker is also a possibility for Jones, but Kenny Demens is the starter there and freshman Joe Bolden might be his primary backup. No matter where Jones gets the most reps in practice, he's likely to have a true freshman or redshirt freshman blocking his path. Special teams coverage and mop-up duty seem to be his best bets for playing time.
Prediction: Special teamer