As redshirt sophomore Mac Jones prepares to make his second career start for the Crimson Tide on Saturday against Western Carolina, BamaOnLine looks back on the Florida product’s recruitment and how he ended up in Tuscaloosa.
Mac Jones — Class of 2017
High School: Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles
Height/Weight: 6-foot-2, 180 pounds
Rating: No. 18 pro-style quarterback, No. 399 overall player per the industry-generated 247Sports Composite Rankings
How it played out:
A book could be written one day about the ripple effects a few decisions at the quarterback position in the 2017 cycle had on the college football landscape. To put it in a nutshell, one-time Bama pledge Jake Fromm flipped to Georgia in the spring of 2016, Alabama put an offer out to Tua Tagovailoa shortly after. The Tide landed Tagovailoa two months later, seemingly to some, putting an end to its efforts under center in the class. Not so fast.
Cue Mac Jones.
Alabama offered Jones, a Kentucky commit at the time, on April 10, 2016, just three weeks before Tagovailoa joined its class. The addition of Tagovailoa did not slow UA down in its efforts of hoping to add a second signal caller in 2017. After attending the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles in June, Jones made his way out to Tuscaloosa for the Tide’s summer camp, where he put on an impressive passing display in front of Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin. Jones flipped to Alabama on June 7 and never looked back. Many were surprised to see Jones join the class with Tagovailoa already on board, but as he simply stated at the time:
“A lot of these kids want guaranteed playing time, but really I just needed the opportunity to compete,” Jones told BamaOnLine. “I’ve waited three years before I could start at high school, so I know if I have to wait I’ll be fine with it. Honestly it would be better if I waited so I could learn the system and get used to it. I’m going in there as the second quarterback in the class and whatever happens, happens.
“I’m excited to be with the best players. It’s not about me; it’s about getting them the ball.”
Jones went on to help Alabama in its recruiting efforts — going after guys he will throw to this weekend like Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith — in what became one of the all time greatest classes in college football history. UA signed six 247Sports Composite five-star recruits on its way to securing the No. 1 spot in the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings.
Noted at the time of his decision to flip to Alabama, 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons said this of Jones:
“This is the kid who I think can do everything Nick Saban wants him to do. He’s really mechanically sound. I talked to a coach over the weekend at the Elite 11 who said he was just in the right place, knew what to do, great attitude and was really just a guy has all those tools and intangibles you look for.”
Jones is now tasked with guiding the Tide the rest of the way in 2019 against Western Carolina this weekend and what could be a playoff-deciding matchup for Alabama in the Iron Bowl next weekend.