Though incoming freshman Dwayne Haskins was hovering over his left shoulder — practically begging him to commit to Ohio State in front of a group of reporters following its annual Friday Night Lights recruiting camp — 2018 prospect Emory Jones remained as cool as could be in the pocket.
The Buckeyes have an embarrassment of riches at the position for the foreseeable future, but showing such poise will only benefit the Franklin, Georgia, native if he ultimately decides to join the crowded quarterback room in Columbus.
“I'm not really worried about the depth chart,” Jones told Eleven Warriors as he glanced back at Haskins with a smile on his face. “I know I'm going to have to compete anywhere I go.”
He did just that on Friday evening, as the second-ranked dual threat quarterback from the Class of 2018 was slinging the football all over Ohio Stadium. In fact, Jones stole the spotlight from a pair of well-known 2017 commits, Danny Clark of Archbishop Hoban (Akron) and Tate Martell of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nevada).
“I feel like it was the best performance at a camp I ever had,” Jones said. “I just feel very comfortable here around these coaches and in this stadium. I was just feeling it.”
With Clark and Martell seemingly preoccupied with trying to one-up each other during passing drills, Jones displayed a knack for throwing tight spirals wherever he wanted on the field. It hardly went unnoticed, either, as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spent several minutes of one-on-one time with Jones.
“He [Meyer] wasn't pressuring me at all,” Jones said. “He was just telling me he wants me to be their guy.”
Ohio State is the favorite to land the 6-foot-3, 173-pound Jones, though Tennessee has ramped up its recruiting efforts in recent months. He was in Knoxville for a few hours on Thursday, but the fact that Jones has been in Columbus all weekend gives you a sense of which way he is leaning.
Unfortunately for Haskins, however, Jones isn't ready to make anything official just yet.
“Right now, I'm still debating on what I'm going to do and when I'm going to decide,” he said. “But, Ohio State is definitely up there.”
Jones has previously maintained the stance that he'd like to commit before the start of his junior year of high school, but there's a chance he could wait a little while longer. Or, he could pledge to the Buckeyes on his way out of town tonight.
“It's just whenever I feel like it's [the right] time,” he said.