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August 28, 2013
BELLEVIEW -- It would be an understatement to say Ben Jones had a busy summer.
A 6-foot-6, 255-pound offensive lineman for Belleview High School, Jones travelled to Florida International, Florida Atlantic, USF, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, Wofford, Mercer, Furman and Memphis from the conclusion of his junior year through the beginning of August.
The Rivals.com Two-star OL has actually taken two trips to the USF campus since April.
The first was for the spring game, an experience he said he enjoyed and one he got to get some face time with the recruiters charged with following him. The second was for the Bulls' Rising Seniors Elite Camp.
"I performed pretty well there," said Jones, who counts scholarship offers from Southeast Missouri, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois. "Where it stands (with USF)... I would like to go there because it's pretty close to (my) family. One of my aunts actually is attending there right now.
"I have family real close who could be able to watch me play."
Jones, who spent 12 years living in Wisconsin, said signing with lineman factory UW would be his dream scenario. However, no matter where he ends up, there will be several factors involved in his decision-making process.
"I'd like a good academic school," Jones said. "I'd like to look at the facilities - how good they look - and my overall chemistry with the coaches. (I want to see) how I interact with them, if I think they will make me a better person after football."
Jones said he has faith the day will come when he is able to make the best decision for himself on a college. But for now, his immediate focus is on the improving Rattlers, who followed up back-to-back 1-9 campaigns with a 3-7 2012 season.
And with 13 starters (seven on defense) back for 2013, the expectations have raised.
"Our whole team has played together for a while and we know how to work with each other," Jones said. "We've been steadily improving over the last several years.
"We've got a good group of guys, and we're all working hard to be the best that we can be."
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