LB Shane Jones, Archbishop Moeller HS (Ohio) - 6-foot-1, 218 pounds
Ratings: Rivals (4 stars), Scout (3 stars), 24/7 (3 stars), ESPN (NR)
Other notable offers: Oklahoma, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State, Texas A&M
It appears MSU has found quite the pipleline in Archbishop Moeller High School In Cincinnati. The Cincinnati Enquirer was the first to report that class of 2013 linebacker Shane Jones committed to MSU on Monday.
Assuming he signs with MSU next year, Jones would be the fourth Moeller product to suit up for the Green and White under Mark Dantonio, joining Greg Jones, Marcus Rush and incoming freshman receiver Monty Madaris. The connection with former Moeller kids was a big reason Shane committed to MSU, according to the Enquirer. Rush and Madaris were big influences on Jones' decision, Moeller coach John Rodenberg said.
"I think he just felt a comfort level that it's close, it's a good school and a lot of Moeller guys are up there," Rodenberg said. "They let him know he was their No. 1 guy."
Being a former Ohio State assistant and University of Cincinnati head coach, Dantonio obviously had strong connections with the city when he took the MSU job. While the UC coach, he lost out on Greg Jones to Minnesota, but after the Gophers fired Glen Mason and Dantonio moved up to East Lansing, he was able to get the speedy linebacker.
That started a new pipeline, as Jones went on to become one of the best linebackers in school history. Rush came to MSU soon after and started as a redshirt freshman defensive end last season, eventually being named a Freshman All-American. Madaris committed to MSU right before signing day this year.
Shane Jones became verbal commitment No. 6 for MSU in 2013 and the second linebacker. The other linebacker, Jon Reschke of Birmingham Brother Rice, quickly congratulated his potential teammate upon hearing the news.
Jones also expressed his excitement on Twitter.
SPARTAN NATION STAND UP! #spartandawg— Shane Jones (@Primetime_8) April 16, 2012
In Jones, MSU has a linebacker who is both big and fast. He could play either inside or outside, but would probably move outside if Reschke becomes the player MSU expects. In the short tape above, Jones shows a combination good closing speed, strength and pass coverage ability. Based on about 20 scholarship offers, Jones was one of the most sought-after linebackers in the country. Rivals had him as the No. 14 inside linebacker.
Linebacker has been perhaps the strongest position at MSU under Dantonio. The position has had several dyanmic duos in the last five years. From Greg Jones/Eric Gordon to Max Bullough/Denicos Allen, MSU is hoping Shane Jones/Jon Reschke could be the next pair at linebacker. But there will be a lot of competition. MSU is stacked with with young linebackers, including Taiwan Jones, Lawrence Thomas, Ed Davis and Darien Harris — the last three of whom redshirted as true freshmen last season.
At the U.S. Army National Combine in January, Jones was named to the All-Combine second team by Rivals. Last season for Moeller, he had 89 tackles (50 solo), nine tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and five pass breakups, being named All-Greater Catholic League South.
MSU has built a strong relationship with one of the best high school programs in Ohio and MSU hopes Jones will be the next Moeller product to star in East Lansing.