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Going through the recruiting process: Many high school stars make decision early to avoid recruiting hassle

By Brandon Chatmon Published: August 24, 2008
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The recruiting process is rapidly changing. Schools have been forced to evaluate players and get out offers sooner than ever because many recruits now prefer to make a decision on their college destination before their senior year.

That trend is evident in Norman, with 17 senior prospects having already given an oral commitment to play football at Oklahoma.

"It takes concentration off of it (the recruiting process),” Wagoner linebacker and OU commit Gus Jones said of committing early.

Jones is one of five linebackers who have committed to the Sooners, but the 6-2, 211-pounder says that won't affect how he plays his senior season for Wagoner.

"I've had people ask if I'm going to hold back my senior year because I'm already committed,” Jones said. "I have been playing with these guys since fourth grade, so I'm going to give my all for them.

"That's my main (focus) right now.”

Jones plays running back and linebacker for Wagoner, so this is the last season he'll go both ways.

While he hasn't talked with the OU coaching staff about particular parts of his game he needs to improve, Jones said he's spent a lot of time focusing on his drops into pass coverage.

"I've spent a lot of time watching game film and working on my drops,” he said.

Although he knows his football future includes the bright lights and jam-packed stadiums of Big 12 football, Jones isn't looking too far ahead. 2008 Oklahoma high school football state schedules 2008 Oklahoma City-metro area high school footbal schedule

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Wagoner linebacker Gus Jones decided to commit to OU before his senior season so he could concentrate on football and not the recruiting process. Jones is one of five linebackers who have committed to the Sooners. by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

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