The University of Miami got the better of Florida State on the football field this past season, but FSU won the biggest recruiting battle to date between the two powerhouse programs. Ever since the open recruiting period kicked in last fall, Orlando Edgewater defensive tackle Aaron Jones has been a top priority for both Miami and FSU. The four-star prospect wavered back and forth between the two instate rivals naming each a "leader" at some point within the past few weeks.
The struggle to land the state's top defensive tackle reached its peak last week when a large contingent of coaches from both staffs made in-home visits. Both appeared to turn the Rivals100 member in their direction. At last check, based on an interview with CaneSport.com, he was "70 percent" sure he would commit to the Hurricanes. Apparently the other 30 percent kicked in because Jones announced on Countdown to Signing Day, a Southeastern recruiting show on cable television, that he intended on signing with Florida State.
"The reason I picked FSU I believe that I like the college atmosphere and Florida State and Miami are both equal," Jones said. "The fans are really good at both schools so I couldn't really separate the two in that regard. So I had to look at where I had the best time at and the best college life. That's why I'm going to FSU."
Jones finished his senior season with approximately 80 tackles and five sacks and earned first team All-State honors. His father, Aaron Jones, Sr., was a first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers and went on to play nine years in the NFL. He participated in the 2004 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was a starter for the East squad.
Although it wasn't as big as a surprise as Jones commitment, his Edgewater teammate Kenny Ingram, a three-star safety, also committed to the Seminoles during the broadcast.
"I want to continue the tradition they have there," Ingram said. "Bobby Bowden is a good coach and I built up a good relationship with the coaches, and the players on the team."
The 6-foot-6 safety admitted to Warchant.com on Monday that he has known his destination for at least a week or two.
Ingram expects to play free safety at his school of choice but hasn't closed the door on the idea of playing some wide receiver. In fact, recent commitment Xavier Lee has already tried to convince his future teammate to play a little offense. That is a good possibility, especially if FSU ends up signing two recruits that are likely to end up at free safety - Terrail Lambert and Darius McClure.
Ingram is also an accomplished small forward for the Edgewater basketball team. So far this season he is averaging 12 points and 8 rebounds a game for the nationally ranked team.