Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Jones no longer has visits scheduled to Florida and Michigan; Gophers' chances continue to look good

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher recruiting Updated: January 24, 2014 - 9:03 PM

Minneapolis Washburn running back Jeff Jones, a key recruit for the Gophers, was scheduled to make an official visit to Florida this weekend and Michigan next weekend, but those plans have been canceled, Washburn coach Giovan Jenkins confirmed today.

Florida and Michigan, which intensified their recruiting efforts for Jones after his big performance in this month's Under Armour All-American Game, have turned their attention elsewhere. Tennessee has been in contact with Jones, but at this point, he doesn't have an official visit scheduled to Knoxville.

Jones, who is ranked as the nation's 44th best recruit by Rivals.com, made a verbal commitment to Minnesota last February but has kept his options open. He has yet to qualify academically to play Division-I but is very close, with three more chances to take his ACT exam.

Jones has made official visits to Minnesota and Iowa State and plans to announce his final decision on National Signing Day, Feb. 5.

At this point, things continue to look better and better for the Gophers to keep Jones in state. They received a verbal commitment from Jonesboro, Ga., running back Rodney Smith on Thursday, but they have made it very clear to Jones that their goal was to get both him and Smith in this year's class.

I'll have a longer story on Jones as part of our 16th annual Super Preps package in Sunday's editions.

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