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Pitt Football: Ronald Jones Breakout Freshman?

I said all along that I won't complain about the level of Pitt recruits in 2011. To put together any kind of a class under the circumstances was a pretty tough gig. But the Jones move especially sounds like a reach. His only offers were reportedly from Georgia Southern, Marshall, and the Citadel. I mean, really?

That was me after Ronald Jones was signed by Pitt. Now, Jones was a two-star/unranked recruit, so it's probably safe to say I wasn't alone in that assessment. But it's looking more and more like he could have been under the radar. Just goes to show you that recruiting rankings aren't everything. Also have to give reader Panthro credit for getting on the Jones bandwagon early.

While Jones hasn't even played a down yet in an actual game, it's becoming more apparent that he not only might play a significant role at Pitt, but that he might do so this year as a freshman.

Jones is more than just a wideout:

"Probably why I’m so excited about (Jones), is I just coached a kid (Johnson) who is one of the most phenomenal kids I’ve ever been around," Graham said. "He was a game-changer, and Ronald has a lot of the similar characteristics. He’s got to get a little bit better route-running, but Ronald can have a significant impact. He’s a tremendous punt returner. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he can do some special things. I’m really excited about Ronald."

Graham also compared him to a pretty good college player ... even if you haven't heard of him:

Graham compared Jones to Tulsa star Damaris Johnson, who holds the NCAA’s all-time records for all-purpose yards (7,796) and career kickoff return yardage (3,417 yards) despite being only 5-foot-8, 170 pounds.

The PG's Paul Zeise goes on to say that Jones is going to play (maybe a lot). As a senior in high school, he passed for 20 touchdowns and rushed for 10 more. So, yeah, he has some skill.

So why all the talk now about Jones when we didn't hear much about him for most of training camp? Well, he apparently had an amazing performance in the recent scrimmage, where Graham called him 'the star' after he caught six passes and had a punt return for a touchdown.

Pitt may not have a star at wide receiver as they've had in the past with Antonio Bryant, Larry Fitzgerald, or Jonathan Baldwin, but they could have plenty of depth there.