Jeff Jones has been working all summer to get himself eligible to not only gain admission to the University of Minnesota but to also pass the NCAA Clearinghouse and be eligible for a scholarship to play football. The combination of SAT and GPA has not quite been good enough up to this point but per Marus all avenues are still being explored to get the highly touted freshman on campus and in uniform.
Jones, a four-star prospect and Minnesota's Mr. Football from Washburn High School last year, didn't receive a qualifying ACT score this summer. But he's been trying to improve his grades in two online classes, which will be judged on a sliding scale in conjunction with his ACT score, so he can be eligible to play this season.
Kill said the NCAA Clearinghouse still has to make a decision on Jones' eligibility. Kill said the U is ready to send a letter to the NCAA explaining Jones' circumstances.
"That letter talks about all the things that Jeff has gone through in his life," Kill said. "Then, they'll make an ultimate decision there, and we'll see what happens. There's more to it than just the clearinghouse."
Much of that is not terribly new information. We've known all along that Jones and the coaching staff are working hard to get him eligible. But we are now learning that the staff is prepared to push for an appeal should he initially be denied. This is good news for Gopher fans, but it isn't the best news in this little saga.
Jones and his family have declined an option to play junior college for two seasons at Iowa Western College.
Now that is great news. Jones not being able to play in 2014 would be a setback, Jones spending 2 years at a JUCO where his recruitment would re-open and he would only have 2 years to compete in maroon and gold...that would be close to worst case scenario.
I still believe we will see Jones on the field this fall. At the very least he will not be able to play this year but will have the school-year to get stronger and still have four years to compete beginning in 2015.