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2021 three-star WR JJ Jones FaceTimes with Josh Gattis ‘every other day’

The WR from South Carolina is feeling the love from U-M.

Josh Bell — The Sun News

There are a few pressing needs for Michigan in the 2021 class. The most pressing is along the interior defensive line, but right after that very well could be wide receiver. More specifically, a bigger receiver who can play on the outside.

The Wolverines brought in a few receivers in 2020, but none of them were over 6 feet tall. They are on the hunt for some bigger receivers in the 2021 class, and a guy who just included Michigan among his top schools is South Carolina three-star JJ Jones.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder from Myrtle Beach is being heavily recruited by big-time programs in the Midwest, East Coast and southern part of the country, as evidenced by his top 10 — Michigan, Georgia, Penn State, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi State, West Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Jones fits the bill for what Michigan is looking for in this class, and both head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis are making sure he feels wanted.

“I FaceTime coach Gattis every other day, real often,” Jones told Maize n Brew. “I call coach Harbaugh probably once a week just to stay in touch and build that relationship. (Harbaugh) is a great guy and he seems like he truly cares about his players.

“They’ve really been proving to me they truly care about their players, not just as a football player but as a person. They want to develop you into a man, not just a good football player.”

It is easy to see Gattis is the head recruiter for Jones, and many of the other wide receivers Michigan is targeting in this class. Gattis has been working hard to build a relationship with Jones, and it appears it is beginning to pay off.

“(Gattis) told me he wants to build a relationship with me,” Jones said. “He’s been recruiting me for a while and now we are trying to find out how each other works. He asks me how my day is going, how I’m handling (the pandemic), we just conversate and try to build a relationship.

“He called me one day when I was on the beach and we just started talking and then he offered me that day, and ever since then we’ve been hitting it off real well.”

With the ongoing in-person recruiting dead period due to COVID-19, Jones hasn’t been able to visit every school on his top list. So far, he has visited North Carolina, South Carolina, Penn State, West Virginia and Tennessee. Despite not being able to see Ann Arbor in person, Jones was able to recently go on a virtual tour.

“They showed me the facilities and what it’s like, but you gotta get a real physical feel for what it’s like up there,” he said. “Michigan has such a rich tradition that you just have to visit.”

If he does get to visit Michigan in person, it would be an unofficial visit. After he takes his other unofficial visits, he would narrow down his top 10 to a top five list. He’d then take his five official visits to his top five schools and decide on his future school after all that.

So what will happen if Jones is unable to take those visits?

“If they don’t let us (take visits) before the season starts, I’ll probably just wait a little bit (to commit) just to think about it, but we’re hoping for the best. Once I take my visits, I should have who I want to go to in mind,” he said.

Jones is the No. 430 overall player on 247Sports’ composite rankings.

You can check out his junior highlight reel below.