Battle for Top Tackle Broderick Jones Expands Beyond Georgia-Auburn
John Garcia, Jr.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Under Armour All-American offensive lineman Broderick Jones has long been a verbal commitment to Georgia, dating back 18 months, but the final stage of his recruitment will feature several programs having a shot at the Peach State talent.
Auburn has been considered the top threat to the Bulldogs since he showed up on campus earlier this fall and while the Tigers are still in pole position for a flip, Tennessee and Florida State are set to make a play. Even LSU, among others, was mentioned following practice Sunday evening.
Jones, as he went in depth on his plan, said he would end the process on National Signing Day, February 5.
Tennessee is set to get the first official visit, the weekend of January 18, with Georgia and Auburn planned for the following pair of weekends. Potential mid-week trips elsewhere could be on the table, too. Plenty will be curious to see how the Georgia trip goes for the 6-foot-5, 275-pounder considering Kirby Smart has a new offensive line coach on staff in Matt Luke.
"I'm trying to build relationships with coaches, players," Jones said. "The new O-line coach just came in, I'm having to get to know him more and I'll do it on the official visit.
"I'm not a big phone person, I like face to face, so that will be a big factor. He's a family guy and family guys are willing to take care of others."
With Auburn getting the last visit, at least as it's currently constructed, there could be some twists and turns remaining in this high profile recruitment.
"It's the whole coaching staff as a unit," he said of AU. "Auburn has just always been on my mind, too. I want to feel like I have a home with the commitment, like Georgia was the first home that I had felt. That's why I committed."
With a busy basketball schedule at Lithonia (Ga.) High following the UA All-America Game and the New Year, there won't be any time wasted by the Jones camp in January. He isn't optimistic he will be able to take five official visits but the plan to end the process in February isn't a new one.
"I didnt' feel any pressure [to sign early] because I knew in the back of my mind I wasn't going to sign," he said. "I was always going to take my official visits."
Many programs have reached out to Jones since the ESP has come and gone. He is getting familiar with recruits headed to most of those programs, particularly Georgia, while competing during Under Armour week.
"Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee, Illinois," Jones said of those who have reached out. "As I get to know these guys that are down here at the All-American game with me, it's like we're getting ready for a game together."
While many coaching staffs give chase, Jones admits it's still Georgia and Auburn out front of the pack "at this time."
The 2020 Under Armour All-America Game will take place Thursday, January 2 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. It will be nationally televised by ESPN2 at 6:00 p.m. ET.