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Towering Tackle Caden Jones Talks Texas, A&M, LSU and More

More than 20 programs are courting the 6'8" New Orleans native

It's hard to miss Caden Jones at 6'8", 315 pounds. 

Whether at a prospect camp or among offensive tackle recruits surging up recruiting boards, the New Orleans (La.) De La Salle standout is picking up momentum as the spring evaluation period has college coaches working on the road. Many will stop in to see Jones in person, but many have already added their program to his growing offer list. 

The class of 2023 standout is now sitting above 20 on the offer list, with Texas coming in most recently after a one-on-one conversation with Steve Sarkisian.

"I was playing (NBA) 2k with my friends and I was told coach Sark wanted to talk to me,' Jones told Sports Illustrated. "We got on Facetime, chopped it up and I was speechless. It makes me feel important, it makes me feel special. 

"When a head coach makes the personal call to offer you, it hits different."

Before the Longhorns jumped in, Jones spent the month of March busy checking out regional college campuses for unofficial visits. New offers were added along the way, including from another head coach in the Lone Star State with Jimbo Fisher. 

Jones has ties to the program, including on the football front with his uncle being Marcus Jasmin. The former A&M interior defensive lineman is also a mentor in Jones' high school development. SI saw the duo work together at the Battle of the South Camp put on by Albert Brock and Dynasty U in New Orleans late last month.

"I had a great time, it was a surreal experience," he said. "Coach Jimbo made the offer to me in his office. I never thought I would be sitting in there. Last year, I went to the spring game with my uncle, who is an alum who played nose guard and  mom graduated from that school, too. 

"It's big to the family." 

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Caden Jones

Jones at the Battle of the South camp in New Orleans 

The big rising-senior tackle talent also tripped to Mississippi State, Florida State, Florida, Houston, ULL and Southern Miss in March.

The visit to Florida featured plenty of familiarity based on the new coaching staff in town under Billy Napier. 

"It was a great experience, a family vibe because coach Napier and coach (Jabbar) Juluke offered me at UL," Jones said. "So when I got there it was smooth, nothing was forced."

Within state lines he checked out Tallahassee and got more face time with a head coach and more on the FSU front. 

"I talked to coach (Mike) Norvell, coach (Alex) Atkins, the offensive line coach," Jones said. "Coach Atkins actually took me into the room and told me what he liked about me and how he wanted to be a part of my development." 

Most recently while on the road, the nearby LSU Tigers and its new staff hosted the in-state standout for the first spring game of the Brian Kelly era.

"I talked to coach Brad Davis at the spring game and had a great time," Jones said. "What I saw with the LSU offensive line was great, especially with the young guys playing. I want to play early when I get to college and my goal is to graduate early so get that going."

With more than 20 scholarship offers in hand, Jones says additional programs could add to the list this spring, mentioning Oregon, Arizona State, Baylor and TCU specifically. 

After that point summer official visits and top contenders are to be revealed before a potential commitment date ahead of De La Salle's 2022 season opener. The program made it all the way to the state championship in 2021, with Jones helping lead the Cavaliers to 10 wins on offense.