Cornerback, 2019 Commit
The Kraken: 4-Stars
Rivals: 4-Stars, 247: 4-Stars, ESPN: 4-Stars
Recruited by Brent Venables and Mike Reed
2/19/19– I’m checking back in on early enrollee CB, Sheridan Jones. I agree with everything I wrote last year except for the following adjustments.
He has gotten bigger, faster, and stronger from his junior year as expected. His top end speed is great (4.5 range), but it still takes him a few steps to get going. I was concerned about his hands last year, but they appear to have gotten better this year. His hands still aren’t great, but they’re good enough now to make opponents pay.
Jones has a lot of football skills and I think he can help us on special teams next year, as well as by providing depth at CB. With Dawkins Jr’s size and LeAnthony Williams’ struggles, Jones (and Andrew Booth) has a shot at ending up in the 2-deep.
I’m sticking with the 4-Star grade here and looking forward to seeing his “trial by fire” against Higgins, Ross, Rodgers and the boys in the spring game.
6/12/18 – Sheridan Jones was initially ranked as the #1 CB prospect in the 2020 class, but has reclassified to the 2019 class. Gridironnow.com reported that Jones told them “I have a minimal number of classes left to satisfy my graduation requirements.” The reclassification somewhat shook up his recruiting because all of his committable offers were for the 2020 class. The recruiting services dropped him down from a 5-Star to a 4-Star since he will be a year younger entering college. Perhaps that helped Clemson land him since the depth chart is a little thin at CB. Jones said that he wanted to play at a school where they let their freshman have a shot to play and the best guys get on the field. He chose Clemson over Alabama, FSU, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and South Carolina. Jones is planning on being an early enrollee as well.
Jones is listed at 6’1″/165 and I think that’s legit. He has a wiry frame with room to put on weight. His top end speed is very good. He doesn’t have the explosive acceleration that we like, though. It takes him several steps to get into 5th gear. In a game, he might get beaten initially and then catch back up. I can also see him running down guys from across the field and saving a TD.
The first couple things you notice on film are his excellent one step change of direction and how well he’s been coached. You can see this with all of the DBs on his team and really the entire defense. Kudos to their staff because they are running a top notch operation on defense. They are operating at a near-college level fundamentally and schematically. So this is one aspect of his game where he won’t be swimming mentally when he gets to Clemson.
In coverage, he can play zone (C2, C3) and man (C1, Press) well. Most of the time they have him on the boundary side playing man at 7 yards. In man, he is like glue on these high school receivers. As a press corner he does a good job with his hands off the line and can flip his hips and drive to the ball very well. He also shows the ability to turn and run while pinning the WRs hips to the sideline. Even if the WR gets a step on him, it takes a perfect pass to drop it in over the shoulder. In zone, he does a good job of recognizing where receivers will be breaking into his zone.
Jones’ ball skills are good enough to knock the ball away, but his hands are below average. He plays WR on offense, so he’s able to catch, but just not in traffic and not while changing direction or laying out. He uses positioning over high-pointing the ball. So, there is a danger that a taller WR could jump over his back and make the catch.
Jones defeats stalk blocks with the proper leverage and is a fearless missile when attacking perimeter run plays. This is another aspect of his game that will translate from day one. His coach has him playing with cushion and keeping everything in the front of him, which is what you want on the high school level where the QB play is decidedly weaker than in college. He can see the field and make an impact in the run/screen game.
His tackling needs some work because he doesn’t always bring his arms. He is a bull-necked thumper though, and even at 165 pounds, he brings the intimidation factor. I love his toughness. However, because of his weight and Newton’s Law, I worry about him getting his bell rung and missing time.
Jones appears to be a smart, well thought out guy with some moxie. He has a little Mackenzie Alexander in him. I would say that, as an athlete, he is a taller version of Mark Fields. I agree with the 4-Star ranking following his sophomore campaign and I agree that, with his skill set, he could play early. It helps that he’s going to walk onto campus in the 3-deep and start pulling valuable reps immediately.