6-foot-5 (Brock, Tex.) TE Nathan Jones joins Gophers’ 2022 class

Oct. 26, 2021: (Brock, Texas) 3-star TE Nathan Jones announced that he will be committing to the Golden Gophers, given the program its 14th commitment for the ’22 class.

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P.J. Fleck and the Gophers have landed their first commitment in 54 days, the first since 4-star 2023 WR Anthony Brown announced he would be committing to Minnesota. 6-foot-5-inch TE Nathan Jones chose the Maroon & Gold after previously committing to Abeline Christian (the school that Jack Gibbens transferred from) on Aug. 15 this summer. Jones reportedly turned down the chance to become a fourth-generation family member to play football in Dinkytown as well as offers from Vanderbilt at OT and UTSA at TE. Jones joins Spencer Alvarez as the second tight end committed to the ’22 class.

Who is Nathan Jones?:

Nathan Jones is a senior student-athlete at Brock High School (435 students) in Brock, Texas. Jones is a three-sport athlete, playing basketball and competing in track & field. He was all-state in track last spring, throwing 53′ 3″ in shotput and also 151′ in the discus. He also ran an 11.5 100m time and 24.07 200m. So far this season, Jones has 25 receptions for 308 yards and six touchdowns for a currently 8-0 Brock football team.

Jones turned down the opportunity of being a fourth-generation Abeline Christian football player, before committing to the Gophers. His grandfather DeWitt Jones, was the head coach in 1977 when Abilene Christian won a national title in football (NAIA). Before they now compete at the FCS level.

  • Scouting Report:

Standing at 6-feet-5-inches, 240 pounds, Jones will earn his playing time when it comes to run blocking. He is a physically imposing player who consistently controls smaller defenders at the high school level. He has the speed and quickness to be very effective as a pass-catcher as well, but his run-blocking is what makes him a Big Ten football player. Jones fits the trend of P.J. Fleck-tight ends and has a very similar playing style to that of current Gopher Brevyn Spann-Ford.

**High School Football Hudl Highlights: https://www.hudl.com/profile/11562697/Nathan-J-Jones

Instant Reaction:

It is always a positive to flip a players’ commitment. Even though Abeline Christian is an FCS program, Nathan Jones deciding to forgo an opportunity to become a fourth-generation player there and play for the Gophers shows how much he wanted to play for this program. Having an offer from Vanderbilt as an offensive tackle raises the possibility of Jones switching to that position, but I would imagine that he will remain at tight end. Nevertheless, Jones clearly has the ability to be more than effective as a run-blocker in the Big Ten level whether that is at tight end or offensive tackle, he could be a diamond in the rough commitment for this program.

What is next?:

Jones’ commitment now gives the Gophers two commitments at the TE position for the ’22 class and only one along the offensive line (Tony Nelson), so I am curious how that will change their approach as they continue to construct their class. Overall, the Gophers now have 14 total commitments in the class, four short of their 2021 total (18) and 10 short of their 2020 total (24). There is no telling how many players Minnesota would like to add to the class, but with so many veteran players currently on the roster, I would imagine that the total for 2022 will be closer to 24 than 18, so I believe this class is far from a finished product.

As a whole, the Gophers’ currently have the 48th ranked 2022 class, and 10th best in the Big Ten. Nathan Jones joins a talented group that P.J. Fleck and his staff have put together.

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