by Kevin Trahan (@k_trahan)
Leading up to the season, Inside Northwestern will give you a preview of each of Northwestern’s 2012 recruits. Click here for previous entries.
Hometown: Joliet, Illinois
Star Rating: 3-star, No. 42 RB
Ht/Wt: 6-0, 207 pounds
Other Offers: Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Toledo
What's to like:
While Ifeadi Odenigbo has gotten most of the press in this recruiting class, Jones may the most underrated player. He committed to NU early in the recruiting process so he never got tons of attention, but he's extremely talented and may be the Wildcats' most complete running back since Tyrell Sutton.
Jones is a good-sized back at 6-0, 207 pounds, but Scout.com's Chris Emma noted that he's also extremely fast. The Cats already have two solid running backs in Mike Trumpy and Treyvon Green, but Jones could be an excellent third option to start the season and could even move up the depth chart. He has the ability to make a play in any situation — he can power inside or get outside for a big gain — which will certainly be a plus for the NU offense this year.
Prospects for next season:
It's tough to pinpoint how Jones will contribute this far in advance, but he'll likely start out as NU's No. 3 running back. His role will evolve as the season goes on, but his versatility will help his chances of seeing the field early and often.
He may be NU's most talented back since Sutton and if he can adapt to the college fame quickly and hurt teams with his power and speed, there's a chance he could eventually work his way into the starting lineup. For the opener, however, No. 3 running back seems most probable.
What he's saying:
"(Running backs coach Matt MacPherson), he knows a lot. I can't wait until I'm over there and be under him and truly learn from him. He said when high school's over, the day after state, they're ready to have me up there and work out and I'm ready to be in their offense," Jones told Scout.com last July.
What they're saying:
"I think he is one of the crown jewels of this class and he could be an impact player right away. He could be the starter or he could just be redzone type back. He's got the ability to find the end zone, I know that’s what the coaches love about him. Malin’s added some size now so he’s running with a little more force. I think he’s probably faster than (Trumpy and Green) and stronger than (Trumpy and Green). Malin, he’s an all-around back — Treyvon and Trumpy are more based on their speed." — Chris Emma, PurpleWildcats.com