Coming in at number 7 on my list is Elijah Jones, a JUCO product from Ellsworth CC.
I think it’s a well-known fact the Kansas secondary got obliterated last year. To be more specific, their passing defense ranked 126th out of 130 teams. Needless to say Kansas could use some major help in that area and they got just that with bringing in Elijah Jones.
In addition to his offer from Kansas he had offers from UCF, Utah State and Iowa State. It’s always good to steal a recruit from a conference foe but even better to steal a recruit from a team that was undefeated last year. With better options on the table, at least on paper, it’s good to know Beaty was able to keep him locked in on Kansas.
I know many KU football fans are upset with the amount of JUCO products that are on the 2018 recruiting class, and rightfully so as it didn’t work out so well for the last coach that recruited JUCO heavy, but I think Beaty got it right with Jones. This is a guy that can and will play right away and I’m guessing he’s going to make quite the impact.
What I like most about Jones is he’s tall for a DB. Only a few other defensive backs on Kansas’ roster are over 6 foot and he’s 6-2. Usually you see a defensive back around the 5-10 to 6 foot range and that’s mainly because guys that are taller just aren’t quick enough to keep up with the receivers. With Jones that will not be the case. He’s easily quick enough and with his added height he’s going to be hard to throw over.
A few things I noticed from his highlights is Jones has a great nose for the ball and he’s very fast, especially in the open field. He had 11 tackles and 3 interceptions last year with Ellsworth CC, which is pretty impressive considering Kansas as a team only had 4 interceptions on the year. Jones will bring a new dynamic to a defense that was hurting last year and he’ll be able to create turnovers, if not for himself at least for other players on the team.
My fearless prediction…
I think Elijah will start opposite Corione Harris at cornerback this year. He may not start right away, but I’m thinking it’ll eventually end up that way. He’s so quick and his nose for the ball will create a lot of opportunities for Kansas to make some big defensive plays. I also think teams will come in looking to game plan against Harris, which is understandable, but surprisingly their biggest issue in the secondary will in fact be Jones. I’m predicting he’ll get at least 25 solo tackles and at least 2 interceptions on the year.