Self-described as a "shy, skinny, nerdy kid with glasses" when he was in middle school, Warren junior Micah Jones has grown more than just physically.
Be like Micah.
After all, who wouldn't want to have his future? Never mind the sculpted, 6-foot-4½, 203-pound frame. Forget the major-college football scholarships, which he revealed by placing the lids of Northwestern, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Iowa and Illinois on a table at Warren's Almond Road campus on Friday. Forget his Hollywood features and smile.
Turns out, the promising wide receiver grades out equally impressive in the classroom as he does on the football field.
So no wonder -- in a room packed with classmates, faculty, tutors, trainers, administrators, mentors, coaches, friends, family and reporters -- he grabbed the Notre Dame cap and placed it on his head. No offense to NU, Illinois or the other schools that pursued him.
"Without further ado, for my time in college, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame," announced Jones, who began by thanking everyone in attendance.
Good luck keeping up with these Joneses.
While Micah says sports medicine is something he might pursue post-football, rest assured his parents will keep him focused on academics. Mark Jones, who played offensive line and linebacker at Prairie View A&M in Texas, is an engineer. His wife, Michelle, is a microbiologist.
"We're huge into academics," Micah's dad said.
"(Notre Dame) is a great institution," Micah said. "You can't go wrong with Notre Dame, whether you're going there for football or to be a business man."
It's that business approach that Micah takes with football. He boasts a GPA above a 3.0 GPA, is an honors student and a kid who "never gets in trouble around the school," Warren football coach Bryan McNulty said.
"He's made a huge sacrifice," Mark Jones said of his son. "The kid trains a lot -- literally training, books, things of that nature. It yields these opportunities."
Like most high school juniors, Jones is hardly a finished product. More of a possession, go-up-and-get-it receiver than a burner, he had just 23 catches and 2 touchdowns in his second season on varsity last fall. He earned honorable mention all-conference honors for a team that missed the state playoffs.
"I just think he needs more snaps," McNulty said. "People forgot that Micah didn't start playing offense until he was in eighth grade. He was always a defensive player (defensive end)."
Jones guesses he stood maybe 6 feet and weighed 160 pounds as an eighth-grader.
"It wasn't that long ago," he said, sans eyeglasses, with a laugh. "I really grew, and I thank everybody around me for that. I grew a lot as a person and as a man."
He's put on 15 pounds since the end of last season and is looking to add a little more weight (210 is his target) by the end of the year. He'll get there.
"He works extremely, extremely hard," McNulty said. "I think his best days are in front of him, just like with a lot of young players."
Jones is indeed smart. He knows he needs to get better at football, just like with a lot of young players. He's willing to keep making sacrifices.
"I could improve everywhere, whether that's footwork, getting out of breaks, running routes, fighting off defenders," he said.
Jones won't sign his letter of intent until almost a year from now. Purdue made him a scholarship offer Friday morning. Kids de-commit all the time. But the wide receiver knows the Irish, who offered him last summer, are quite the catch.
"I love Notre Dame," he said. "I don't think I want to go anywhere else."
That's not the shy kid from middle school talking. That's a young man who has a plan.
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