Better Know a Buckeye: Keandre Jones

By Vico on July 1, 2016 at 10:10 am
Keandre Jones

Our "Better Know a Buckeye" series continues with its 20th installment. We profile Keandre Jones, a linebacker from the Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Maryland.

Keandre Jones

  • Size: 6-3/210
  • Position: LB
  • Hometown (School): Olney, MD (Good Counsel)
  • 247 Composite: ★★★★
  • National Ranking: 91
  • Position Ranking: 8 (OLB)
  • State Ranking: 4 (MD)
  • Under Armour All-American

Ohio State fans may have never heard of Keandre Jones if not for the coaching turnover at Maryland. Jones had been committed to Maryland for over a year before he decided to rethink his options when the program hired D.J. Durkin. Things moved quickly. Luke Fickell visited Jones at his home on Jan. 14. Jones took an official visit the next day. He flipped on Jan. 18.

I retell this story below. I then provide a scouting report on a linebacker prospect that Ohio State fans should hope fills a role that Darron Lee served as a Buckeye. I offer a projection of a redshirt before concluding with highlight film to watch.


Keandre Jones is a peculiar addition to this class. He's a top-100 national prospect and an Under Armour All-American. He comes from a talent-rich program that routinely places their best players at programs like Florida and Michigan. Rivals is particularly keen on Jones, giving him five stars in their evaluations. Ohio State had known about him and wanted him for some time.

The problem: Jones committed to Maryland Dec. 1, 2014 and stayed off the recruiting grid as a result. He was also loyal to the Terrapins program and believed hard in the "movement" that Maryland's coaches had pushed to keep the top Maryland prospects at home. He was even loyal no matter the Terrapins' struggling football fortunes after the 2014 season and to start the 2015 season.

Like good friend Dwayne Haskins, Jones started to rethink this position in December 2015. Maryland had already hired D.J. Durkin from Michigan. Durkin seemed unlikely to retain interim coach and ace recruiter Mike Locksley on his new staff. Haskins had already expressed an interest in visiting Ohio State, a childhood favorite program of his. Keandre Jones expressed a new interest in the Buckeyes as well.

Fickell visited Jones at his Olney home in January to sell the star linebacker prospect on an official visit to Ohio State. The turnaround was quick. Jones visited Ohio State the next day. He rescinded his pledge to Maryland three days later and incidentally made a new decision the same day Dwayne Haskins selected Ohio State as well.


Keandre Jones became the 20th member of Ohio State's 2016 recruiting class on Jan. 18. His commitment followed Dwayne Haskins on the same day. Both friends, albeit from different schools, became a package deal for Ohio State in light of the coaching changes at Maryland.

However, Jones told Eleven Warriors May he planned to come to Ohio State regardless of Haskins' decision. It was a matter of Ohio State staying in contact, especially with his mother. Jones is close to his mom.

 "I would have went regardless... In my opinion, it doesn't get any better than Ohio State. It really hit me when I came up to visit. Me and my mother sat in Coach Meyer's office and I asked her ‘Mom, what do you think?’ She said ‘Keandre I love it, I can definitely see you playing here.’ When she said that I just needed time to really consider and make the best decision for me and not based off others' opinions.  Right before leaving campus I knew. We drove back the 5-6 hours home and talked about it, just me and my mom."


Recruiting services list Keandre Jones at outside linebacker, but he's the ideal "SAM" linebacker. He's more Darron Lee than Joshua Perry for Ohio State fans who like these comparisons.

Ohio State's coaches had long wanted Keandre Jones for his athleticism. He's an ideal linebacker prospect that can cover the field sideline to sideline. He's got a good top-end speed too. Ohio State fans who long to replace Darron Lee in the long term will like what they see from Keandre Jones' tape.

He's an agile linebacker as well. Watch his film to see him knife through blockers. He's got the agility to help his vision in the scrum on running plays.


Jones' biggest knock right now is his size. He played linebacker at a smaller size than Darron Lee played quarterback in high school. Jones will get bigger as he matures. It just means the weight room might be the highest priority for him as he starts his Ohio State career.

Finally, Jones has the athleticism to hang with running backs and tight ends in pass coverage, if not the experience and overall awareness. Most high school football is run-intensive, so I raise this issue for most prospects.


Keandre Jones is explosive enough to play special teams as a true freshman but I don't think there's room for him in the linebacker depth chart in 2016. I expect him to redshirt in 2016.


Here are senior highlights of Keandre Jones.

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