Nick Saban once again goes into the state of Georgia and picks up a heavily recruited prospect, this time in the form of Tyren Jones, a tailback out of Marietta. Per the Atlanta-Journal Constitution:
Tyren Jones, who is ranked as the state’s No. 1 prospect at RB by some, committed to Alabama on Tuesday night.
The 5-foot-8, 192-pound junior from Walton High School picked Alabama over UGA and Clemson.
It was yet another huge recruiting victory for Alabama in the state of Georgia. The Crimson Tide only offered Jones a football scholarship last Saturday at Junior Day.
"He was very impressed with the Junior Day visit," said Derrik Allen, Tyren’s AAU track coach. "Alabama laid out what they liked about him. They told him about the academic programs, and the support for the athletes. He just felt like in his heart, Alabama was the place for him."
Jones has simply been a dominant player in the Georgia prep ranks. Last year as a junior he ran for over 2,400 yards to go along with 33 touchdowns, which does not include several hundred more yards generated as a receiver and in the return game, and those numbers only become more impressive when put in the context that he was that productive against a very high level of competition (Walton is in the 5A classification in Georgia).
Given that, it's no small surprise that even this early in the recruiting process Jones has picked up offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Clemson and several others. In the end, Jones might not receive the hype that will be lavished upon fellow-commitment Altee Tenpenny, but even so Jones figures to be one of the most highly-coveted tailback prospects in the nation.
Several people will look at the relatively diminutive stature and conclude that Jones will be a speedster who provides value by out-running defenders and making them miss in the open field, but that's not an accurate description of his physical skill set. Jones uses the short frame to his advantage and runs with both speed and power, proving to be a very effective interior runner at Walton High in a pro-style offense. He should bulk up when he gets to Tuscaloosa, but in terms of a physical build he essentially has the frame that Mark Ingram did this time four years ago, and much like Ingram, Jones projects to a be a physical runner who uses the low center of gravity and the fluidity of hip movement to his advantage. A second coming of Terry Grant this is not.
With Jones and the aforementioned Tenpenny in the fold, the Alabama backfield now looks solidified in the years ahead. Dee Hart and T.J. Yeldon will be freshmen this fall and together this quartet will form the basis of the 'Bama rushing attack in the years following the departure of Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy. Alabama has relied heavily in the Nick Saban era on star tailbacks to carry the load and provide the backbone of the UA attack, and by continuing to add players like Jones 'Bama can ensure that basic philosophy does not have to change.
Jones becomes the eight commitment in the 2013 recruiting class.
Addendum: The obligatory YouTube highlight clip: