Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Rising star watch: Julian Jones

Julian Jones of Wilcox-Santa Clara stars in three sports for the Chargers: football, basketball and baseball. The Class of 2016 prospect, though, looks like a potential game changing linebacker and tight end (photo contributed).
The new home city of the San Francisco 49ers is also the place where Julian Jones of Wilcox-Santa Clara does his damage in three ways: on the football field, the basketball court and as a pitching ace and extra baseman on the baseball diamond.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Jones is an athletic freak and one of the most active athletes in the Bay Area. But judging by what I saw in the Cali Gold Mine film room, I believe he's too good of a prospect to pass up on the gridiron, especially as an outside linebacker and tight end.

Here's a closer look at the rising Class of 2016 prospect:

WHAT TO LIKE: Jones has reliable hands - both on offense and defense. His ball hawking skills, though, is what I admire the most on the football field. From his linebacker spot, Jones not only shows a strong pursuit to the football, but he can leap to the air and snatch the ball out of the sky. He's a punishing hitter who attacks a ball carrier like a shark locating his prey. His pass rush skills are a major strength too, with his ability to keep his motor active and get around offensive tackles. He has enough speed to loop around outside blockers. Offensively, his size and strength makes him hard to tackle. He does a solid job with extending out his hands and hauling in the reception.

WHAT TO BUILD ON: He can still work on his speed on both sides of the football. I also need to see his ability to use hand technique to defeat his blockers on defense. He tends to come up too high with his tackles and sometimes resorts to wrestling someone to the ground.

OVERALL: Jones' versatility and his knack for staying active through sports should capture a college's attention. He'll likely have a tough decision to make with choosing one sport over the other two. But his skill set on the outside reminds me of DeAndre Levy of the Detroit Lions.

More on Jones can be found here.

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