Safety first for Jones at LSU?
Freshman DB must decide this week between baseball offer or football
Monday, August 13, 2007
By Kyle Whitfield
BATON ROUGE -- The countdown is on for LSU freshman Chad Jones.
Jones, a two-sport athlete who completed his first week of fall football camp for the Tigers this past week, was selected in the 13th round of the baseball draft and has until Wednesday to sign a contract if he wants to begin his baseball career this year.
"I think if the Houston Astros really wanted me, I'd be gone by now," Jones said Sunday at LSU's annual football media day. "I'm getting settled in over here, and baseball is gonna have to step their game up if they want me to come over there."
Jones said his father has received two calls recently from Astros officials, and he said it's still possible he could end up playing baseball.
"I wouldn't be shocked, but it would catch me by surprise," Jones said of possibly reaching a deal with Houston. "I'm just sitting back waiting, getting tired of waiting -- just start learning the plays over here and get adjusted to football."
Jones, a Parade All-American, was ranked the No. 1 safety in the nation by Rivals.com and Scout.com coming out of Southern Lab High School in Baton Rouge. So far in camp, Jones has impressed the coaching staff and has practiced at safety and cornerback.
"I really felt like, you know, it was important to our team that we have a quality safety that could line up there and play, give us snaps and develop because, frankly, I don't think we really recruited in the last two years the safeties that we were after," LSU Coach Les Miles said. "Am I in some way concerned today as we talk? Yeah . . . You know, I have minimal concern. Certainly it's not unusual that Major League Baseball might make a play at him in the next five days.
"I really am much less concerned now with his reporting to camp, preparing, the style of guy that he is as he looks forward to playing football."
At the groundbreaking of LSU's new Alex Box Stadium, Coach Paul Mainieri said he expects only one member of his recruiting class, infielder Drew Cumberland, to not attend LSU. Jones is included in that recruiting class.
Cumberland was drafted with the 46th overall pick in this year's draft by the San Diego Padres. He agreed to terms with the Padres on July 6.
NO ARNOLD: It appears more and more likely preseason All-SEC guard Will Arnold's impact on the LSU offense will be limited this season.
One day after saying he hoped Arnold would get significant repetitions in Saturday's scrimmage, Miles held Arnold out of the 100-play scrimmage. To date, Arnold has made it completely through two practices since workouts began nine days ago. He has missed two full practices.
"A day before we decided I wasn't going to do it," Arnold said. "I don't think it was the best time for me to go that day."
Arnold did say he expected to participate in Tuesday's scrimmage.
Arnold, who has struggled with knee injuries the past two seasons and had ankle reconstruction surgery last season, said it's not specifically his knees or ankle nor a conditioning issue, but an overall leg weariness. Arnold also is hampered by a hereditary arthritis condition.
"It's nothing other than being broke down a little bit and letting by body recover," he said. "It's just from being out so long. It's my legs. I've got to get a little strength back in them."
FAN DAY: LSU held its annual fan day Sunday, and some people used the opportunity to get some preseason tailgating in.
A handful of tents and five RVs could been seen in the parking lot across from Tiger Stadium.
The athletic department sent out a news release later in the day, saying nearly 6,000 fans attended the event.
Senior Associate Athletic Director Herb Vincent said the fan day festivities have attracted at least 3,000 fans each year. He also said 8,000 people were in attendance for last year's fan day.
"The turnout at fan day was great," Miles said in a release. "It's nice to be able to spend time with, talk to and take pictures with our fans. We understand how passionate our fans are, and I know that our team enjoys being able to interact with them on a day like today."
INJURY UPDATE: Miles updated the injury status of linebackers Jacob Cutrera and Perry Riley.
"Jacob Cutrera will probably miss a couple of days, if not longer," he said. "Perry Riley is a little nicked. It appears both will be ready for the first game. Perry might be ready quicker than Jacob."
NO SURGERY: Mark Snyder, who injured his left knee last week, said there are no plans for surgery.
Snyder, who prepped at Brother Martin, wouldn't divulge the exact nature or severity of his injury and said there was no timetable other than "day by day."
UP NEXT: After a day off Sunday, the Tigers hit the practice field for two-a-days today, Wednesday and Friday.
The team will have a light scrimmage Tuesday without tackling, and its next full scrimmage will be Saturday.
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