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 moves into U dorm, ready to start class, awaiting NCAA's decision

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher recruiting Updated: August 26, 2014 - 3:56 PM

Gophers running back recruit Jeff Jones has moved into a university dorm and is getting ready to start class when fall semester begins Tuesday. The NCAA still needs to weigh in on Jones’ eligibility status, but people close to the situation said Tuesday that Jones has been assured he’ll get his scholarship.

Though no one with the program is expecting Jones to play this season, this bodes well for the top recruit’s 2015 playing status. Last month, coach Jerry Kill said the most important thing was getting Jones into school so he’d be ready to compete next season, after David Cobb and Donnell Kirkwood graduate.

Jones, who was admitted to the university this month, came just short of qualifying academically for Division I when he graduated from Minneapolis Washburn. He took summer school courses, and he was prepared in July to appeal for an NCAA initial eligibility waiver. It’s unclear exactly where that process stands.

Unless the NCAA gives full approval to an eligibility waiver, Jones wouldn't be able to practice or play with the team this fall.

The NCAA could grant Jones partial approval of an initial eligibility waiver, in which case he would need at least a 2.50 GPA in the fall semester before he’ll be able to eligible for spring practice. In the meantime, he’d be able to work out with the team’s strength and conditioning staff.

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