Tyren Jones’ official visit to South Carolina this weekend could be a trip that leads him back to the big time of the SEC.
The former Alabama running back spent this past season at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, where he rushed for 655 yards and five touchdowns in a crowded backfield and averaged 6.2 yards per carry.
Jones (5-9, 215) is originally from Marietta, Ga.
“I want to see their facilities and training table, I feel that’s something that’s very important,” Jones said of the Gamecocks. “Do they hold me to a high standard academically? The coaching staff, get a feel for the running back coach. And make sure I fit the system.”
Jones began his college career at Alabama in 2013 and left there in the spring of 2015 after being dismissed following an arrest for possession of marijuana. He had other disciplinary issues in the program that led to a suspension. He landed at junior college powerhouse Hutchinson and has righted his ship, he said.
Jones was recruited by USC coach Will Muschamp when he was at Florida and again at Auburn. He’s excited about this re-recruitment by Muschamp.
“I think it’s great, it’s a blessing,” he said. “The coaching staff, I just want to get a feel for them before I make the decision. I just want to get a feel for them when I get there, ask questions and things of that nature so that I know what I’m headed into.”
The USC visit is the first official for Jones, and right now he doesn’t have any others planned. He did take an unofficial visit to Auburn for the Iron Bowl. With no more visits planned, this would appear to be an excellent scenario for Jones to make a commitment to the Gamecocks, but he’s not expecting that to happen.
“I haven’t really thought about it to be honest,” he said. “I’m just going to get a good feel and probably make two or three more phone calls and try and set something else up for next week. Then probably after next week I’ll probably make a decision.”
He’s also talking to Louisville, Alabama, Georgia, South Alabama and others.
Jones said his parents and sister will join him on the visit. His sister is a track athlete that could be recruited, he said.