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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: WLW's Jones closes out busy recruiting process, commits to NC State

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The long winding road concluded in North Carolina.

Culminating a recruiting trail that saw a number of peaks and valleys, Walled Lake Western senior football star Josh Jones finally decided where he would be playing his college pigskin over the weekend.

On Sunday, Jones, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound safety, who was a first-team all-state selection back in the fall, committed to North Carolina State University, following recently de-committing from Illinois.

After his de-commitment, Jones narrowed his choices between the Wolfpack, Pittsburgh and Colorado.

According to the playmaking defensive back, his trip down to N.C. State’s campus in Raleigh and meeting new Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren and his entire staff “sealed the deal,” in his decision process.

“I just felt most at home there,” he said.

Doeren comes to N.C. State after a successful stint at the helm of Northern Illinois, where he compiled a 23-4 record and raised back-to-back Mid-American Conference-championship banners.

Longtime members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Wolfpack went 7-6 in 2012.

As a prepster, Jones was a versatile talent that did damage various ways on the gridiron. He played on offense as a running back, on defense as both a safety and a cornerback and on special teams as a return specialist. During his senior season last fall, he scored 24 touchdowns, tallied 95 tackles and snared five interceptions, leading Western to its second straight Division 2 district title. Last year as a junior, he helped take the Warriors into the final four.

“The things that Josh (Jones) can do on the football field are pretty special,” Western head coach Mike Zdebski said. “His durability and overwhelming athleticism set him apart. We could line him up in several different positions and know he was going to be a huge match-up problem. That’s why he was so dangerous.”

Jones kicked off his journey down the recruiting trail last spring when he gave a verbal commitment to Toledo. By the end of the summer, bigger Division I programs were getting in the mix. Michigan State began showing serious interest around the holidays.

Doeren has made significant noise in the Metro Detroit area lately. The securing of Jones' commitment was the second local recruiting catch by Doeren and the Wolfpack, coming on the heels of Detroit Cass Tech's Kenton Gibbs (DE) committing to N.C. State earlier this month.

Last Updated: 1/28/2013 2:15:06 PM EST

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