Signing Day Showcase: LB Kellen Jones (Updated with Sr Film/Sr Stats)

Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press
Kellen Jones -ILB- 6'1" 210- 4.7, 40-yard dash
Houston, Texas - St. Pius X HS
Star Gazers- 4 **** Scout/ 3 *** Rivals
Offers: (6) Michigan, Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Stanford, Texas A&M
Rankings: Rivals: 29th nationally and 69th in Texas/ Scout: #12 ML

Click read more to view his stats, video and analysis

Stats: (SR) 110 TT, 71 SOLO, 32 TFL, 8 SACKS, 18 QB hurries, 4FF, 3FR and 1punt block in 11 games
(JR) 75 tackles, 22 TFL, 3 FF, 3 FR, 1 INT, 1 saftey, 6 sacks and 6 blocked kicks, 6 blocked kicks, 4 punts and 2 field goals

Analysis:  If you did not already know then allow me to inform you of the news:  Michigan is going to a 4-3 defense.  The ole' 3-3-5 that has caused so many headaches the past couple of seasons is gone.  In order for Michigan's defense to shine in the 4-3 the linebackers are pivotal.  According to Jones, Mattison is looking to play him at the WILL or MIKE linebacker spots.  The WILL is the weak side linebacker.  In this position he is responsible for covering any backs that come out into the flat or are in a hook/curl type of passing play.  The WILL must be the fastest of the linebacker core due to being called into pass coverage and often times having to make a play coming from the weak side (in essence chasing the ball carrier from behind).  The MIKE is the middle linebacker or the "QB of the defense".  The MIKE backer must be an aggressive head-hunting type of linebacker.  They are usually the ones that are called to "spy" the QB or cover the middle-of-the-field for any receivers.  

It will be interesting to see how Kellen Jones develops.  Right now his weaknesses aren't suitable for him to play at the WILL spot. He needs to improve his pass coverage skills.  His speed and athleticism would make him a great candidate for the MIKE spot.  His physical play and ability to fight through blocks would make him a great candidate for the SAM (strong side linebacker) position. In the SAM, Mattison can use Jone's speed for blitzes.  With the strength Jones possess it should enable him to fight through a TE block to get to the ball carrier.  His quickness will help with pass coverage but he will need to improve his pass coverage skills. 

Until he tightens up his pass coverage abilities he will struggle against pass oriented teams.  He will undoubtedly be a smash-mouth run stopper even early on in his career.  Jones's tenacity and drive allows him to get sideline-to-sideline quickly.  He plays with a ferocious defensive minded attitude and will be an improvement over the linebacker play we have seen the past couple of seasons. 

Kellen is a smart football player.  He holds a 3.4 core GPA and would like to major in Math.  With a possible double-major in Engineering or Chemistry.


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