Joining his older brother on campus, Jamir Jones starts his college football career with a similar fraternal trait: positional flexibility. Jones is set to begin his career at outside linebacker. He could grow into a defensive end. Or move to inside linebacker.
Multiple positions isn’t anything new for Jones. The Rochester standout played tight end and quarterback in high school, a swiss-army knife who needed to work out in front of Notre Dame’s staff before they could evaluate him as a defensive player during last summer’s camp circuit.
One they got their look at Jones, the Irish staff was confident he’d have a role on this team. With the Irish still looking for pass rushers, Jones could find his way to defensive end—the spot where his brother started his career before shifting inside.
6’3″, 220 lbs.
Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, Class AA first-team All-State, three-star recruit. Had offers from Boston College, UConn (Bob Diaco), Pitt, Rutgers and Syracuse before committing to Notre Dame in the summer.
You’ve got to like an athlete this size that played high school quarterback and also tight end in addition to his defensive duties. That’s code for athleticism, something the older Jones brings by way of power and size while Jamir needs to show an ability to play on the edge and in space.
Three star prospect is less of a hinderance than knowing how he’ll project. And Notre Dame has taken brothers before (classmate Julian Okwara, Zack and Nick Martin) while passing on other siblings in the past (Alex Bars, but not his two brothers who ended up in Big Ten programs).
What kind of player Jones will become? That’s hard to say without seeing him assimilate into college football. But listening to the Irish coaching staff, it sure doesn’t sound like they view him as a modest three-star recruit with average offers.
Add to that an older brother who understands the urgency of 2016, you can expect a motivated freshman once fall camp opens, especially with a chance to play next to his brother likely a huge factor.
If Jones can rush the passer I think he can play this season. If he’s going to be asked to play linebacker, it’s a redshirt in 2016.
In baseball lingo, Jones feels like a toolsy prospect who can do a lot of things. That’s translated quite nicely under Brian Kelly, with offensive success stories (C.J. Prosise) and defensive ones as well (James Onwualu).
Ultimately, a growth spurt or weight-room participation will likely determine what type of player Jones becomes. Add an inch or two to his height and he could be a prototype pass rusher at weakside defensive end. Stay the same height and fill out and he could play either inside or out at linebacker.
Spring will likely be the most important time for Jones. He’ll have made it through his first season and the staff will know better what they have in him.
2016’s Irish A-to-Z
Torii Hunter Jr.