LINCOLN — Chris Jones liked his official visit to Nebraska over the weekend. He loved the in-home visit he got from Husker coaches less than 24 hours after he left NU.
The two visits combined were enough to flip Jones’ commitment from Big Ten West foe Purdue — where he’d been pledged for the past month — to Nebraska for the 2014 recruiting class. Prior to his Purdue commit, Jones, out of Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood High School, had been pledged to South Florida.
Rated three stars by Rivals, 247Sports and ESPN, and two stars by Scout, the 6-foot, 170-pound prospect said he picked Nebraska after coach Bo Pelini and three assistant coaches — defensive coordinator John Papuchis, new defensive backs coach Charlton Warren and wide receivers coach Rich Fisher — pitched the program to Jones’ family, including his mom and two uncles.
“The main thing my family and I liked was how Coach Pelini is with his players,” said Jones, who runs a 4.5, hand-held, 40-yard dash time. “He loves his players a lot, he does a lot for them, and he’s a family guy.”
Specifically, Jones said, he thought Pelini and Co. would help him stay on track in the classroom and off the field. Jones cited Nebraska’s academic support system as one of the top draws on his official visit.
“My family really liked that Coach Pelini believes in discipline,” Jones said. “They felt like that was the best fit for me. In case I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing, they know that I’ll get the discipline at Nebraska to get back on track.”
Warren — hired Friday by Pelini to be the Huskers’ next secondary coach — “believes in working hard for what you want.”
“He said everybody comes in with a clean slate and works hard for what they want,” Jones said.
NU, sorely in need of cornerback prospects because of a thin depth chart, probably isn’t done at the position. Jones joins Pflugerville, Texas, cornerback Trai Mosley as the other corner in NU’s class. The Huskers will host another corner prospect, Weston (Fla.) Cypress Bay’s Deion Hallmon, this weekend for an official visit. Hallmon is a former teammate of current Husker Boaz Joseph, who will get a long look at nickel and corner this year as a redshirt freshman.
Jones will also work on his Sandalwood teammate, three-star wide receiver DeSean Blair, who also made an official visit to Nebraska. Blair is currently committed to Louisville and will visit the Cardinals and new coach Bobby Petrino on Friday. Via Twitter message, Blair said Nebraska’s still his “No. 1” school. Blair told Husker Online that his family is split on whether he should go to Nebraska or Louisville — his dad wants Louisville while his grandparents want Nebraska.
Nebraska now has 19 verbal commitments for the 2014 class. A call to Jones’ high school coach, Adam Geis, has not yet been returned.