What It Means: FSU Signs Mississippi State Safety Jarrian Jones

by Jacob Bunting
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Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell has made it a priority to hit the transfer market to fill immediate holes in the depth chart this offseason. This week, the Seminoles furthered that goal by picking up Mississippi State transfer safety Jarrian Jones.

WHAT THE NOLES ARE GETTING

Jones, a former 4-star Under Armour All-American, was a top-20 safety coming out of high school. The Flowood native is coming off a solid freshman season in which he played 11 games.

He was productive in coverage, allowing only a 46 percent completion rate on 13 targets. The freshman was effective in deterring quarterbacks from looking his way, ending the season at fourth nationally among Power 5 freshmen in coverage snaps per target (9.7) and coverage yards allowed per snap (0.67).

He was also second nationally among Power 5 freshman in coverage snaps per reception (21.0). In his 11 contests, he tallied 12 tackles, two pass break-ups, and a fumble recovery.


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HOW WILL HE MAKE AN IMPACT?

Jones figures to break into the defensive back rotation quickly. The speedy back has a knack for finishing plays when he is around the ball. He displays excellent footwork as well, keeping himself in position for tight coverage downfield.

There are, however, some aspects of his game he needs to improve in order to be an elite playmaker. Jones’ tackling needs work, as he has had trouble wrapping up and finishing tackles. As with most freshmen, his technical skill also needs to be cleaned up. With proper coaching, Jones has the talent to be a major player in the Seminole secondary.

WHY TRANSFER?

The talented safety follows his teammate Fabien Lovett to Florida State, but not necessarily for the same reasons. According to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger, Jones was “just unhappy” playing for Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach’s staff and needed a change.

Transferring to FSU makes sense, as he has relationships with the current coaching staff. He was heavily recruited by Norvell during his time at Memphis. Jones is also familiar with linebackers coach Chris Marve, who coached at Mississippi State in 2019. Florida State defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson has history with Jones as well, recruiting him during his time at Auburn.

Jones will need a waiver from the NCAA in order to play the 2020 season at Florida State. It is currently unclear if he will use Leach’s infamous noose tweet as grounds for the waiver.

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