Standout WR Tony Jones has MSU in Final Five, will Make Decision this Friday


Tony Jones has a plan. This Friday, at his high school in Grand Blanc, he'll announce where he'll play college ball, disappointing a couple dozen teams but making one lucky school very happy indeed.

The 6-foot-1, 180 pound wide receiver is highly sought after, with over 20 scholarship offers from around the country. But his final list is much smaller, he told Spartan Nation, with five teams making the cut: Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Stanford and Missouri.

Jones has been ripping up the turf in high school and says he's ready to keep the wheels burning through his college career.

"I've just always liked that position, wide receivers are the big playmakers," he said. "You score touchdowns, make big catches, at wide receiver you get to impact the game."

Kick return and punt return are also in Jones' arsenal, and he'd like to pursue similar opportunities at the next level — for the most part.

"Punt return at the college level, I don’t know about that," Jones says with a bit of a laugh, agreeing with the idea that such returnees need to have an almost kamikaze personality. "But kick return, I'll be fine with that."

For MSU, recruiting Jones has been a team effort, like it is for most young men targeted by the green and white, but one coach has stood out. "Coach (Harlon) Barnett is my recruiting coach, I speak with him the most," Jones said. "I talk to Coach (Don ) Treadwell, Coach (Mark) Dantonio as well."

Jones' familiarity with MSU is strong having lived only about an hour's drive away. "I've been down there and visited numerous times, been down there for some of their practices and I was just there two weeks ago for camp. So I feel like I have a pretty good feel for the program up there."

Without the focused effort of the coaching staff, MSU might have fallen off Jones' radar long ago. But having grown up in Michigan, the Spartans had an extra appeal. "Just growing up watching Michigan State, really," has helped push it into his final five, Jones said. "I'm most familiar with Michigan State football and so I'm real grateful for the opportunity I might have to play for Michigan State."

Having grown up with the green and white on TV and in the newspapers, Jones brings some perspective to the improving reputation of MSU's football program.

"Just getting better recruits," Jones said. "They're putting together a great recruiting class this year. Michigan State, they are becoming a powerhouse in the Big Ten. They had a few years where they were a lower tier school, but now Coach Dantonio has the program heading in the right direction, they're winning games and making it to bowl games and they've had a lot of success.

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