2018 Notre Dame Football Recruit Profile: Luke Jones

2018 Notre Dame football offensive lineman signee Luke Jones

The Notre Dame football program got signed commitments from 27 players from 13 different states during the two “signing periods” this winter.

News-Sentinel.com sports reporter Tom Davis has been writing on the Fighting Irish for nearly two decades and is taking a daily look at each recruit.

PLAYER

Luke Jones

DETAILS

The Irish made a late push to land the former Arkansas commit and had to overcome a major obstacle to do so.

Jones was committed to the Razorbacks even after they had a coaching change and hired SMU coach Chad Morris, who planned to install an offense that was friendly to Jones’ skill-set. However, a couple of visits to South Bend went well for Jones this past fall and in December, as well as he had a solid relationship with former Irish offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, that ultimately worked in Notre Dame’s favor.

Jones pledged his commitment to Notre Dame in late December, while Hiestand ultimately left for a job with the Chicago Bears. However, within 24 hours of Irish coach Brian Kelly hiring new line coach Jeff Quinn, the two were in Arkansas to make sure Jones understood just how serious the Irish were about him playing in South Bend.

He helped Pulaski Academy (Little Rock, Arkansas) to a 54-2 record in his four seasons.

SKILLS

Jones has played in a very strong high school program (Pulaski Academy won four consecutive 5A state championships in Arkansas) and has the length and frame (6-foot-5, 289 pounds) to one day excel for Notre Dame. Both Kelly and Quinn spoke recently of his athleticism and versatility, which bolsters the depth of the line when a guy can fill a number of positions on either side.

RANKINGS

Jones was a three-star recruit and earned the Willie Roaf Award, which is given to the top offensive lineman in Arkansas each year.

247Sports had Jones rated as the fourth best player from Arkansas and 43rd top offensive tackle nationally, while ESPN had him 5th and 56th in those categories, respectively.

COMPETING WITH

More than likely, Jones will benefit from 15 months of work on the practice field and weight room before he gets thrown into the mix in the fall of 2019, but each offensive lineman should be reevaluated by a new position coach. Notre Dame did have three linemen leave for the NFL/graduation.

Only Sam Mustipher (center) is probably an absolute lock to be where he was last season.

Senior Alex Bars and young players Tommy Kraemer, Robert Hainsey, and Aaron Banks each come back, as do Liam Eichenberg and Josh Lugg.

The Irish have depth and a decent amount of experience returning from the Joe Moore Award-winning unit.

JEFF QUINN SAYS

“When I was announced on a Tuesday,” Quinn said of his hiring, “the next morning I was on a plane flying down to see Luke. I went into this just as I always do: Just be who you are. I wanted to make sure that they understood who Jeff Quinn was as a person, as a husband, as a man, and certainly as a football coach. How their life is going to be impacted by my leadership and direction each and every single day.

“Our goal is to graduate our student-athletes and compete for a national championship, but the magic to that is, how do you do that? I kept saying to them, because it’s about people, the right kind of people, and that is why I am in your home.”

For more on college football, follow Tom Davis on Twitter at Tom101010 and on Facebook at Thomas Davis.

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