No one has waited longer to sign with UCF than C.J. Jones, who was the first player to join the recruiting class last March. The Port Orange (Fla.) Atlantic running back has been solid to the Knights every step of the way.
Two weeks ago, Jones returned to campus for his official visit.
"It was actually better than all the other times I've been over there," Jones said. "I had a lot of fun. I really enjoyed myself this time. Probably the best part of it was hanging with the kids in my class and the teammates who are already there. I like them already. I can already tell it's going to be something good."
"We met at the USF game," Jones said. "We talked a lot on the trip and became even closer. It was just a perfect visit."
His player host was freshman running back Will Stanback.
"I was with Will, Dontravious Wilson and Micah Reed the most," Jones said. "A few other guys too, like Justin McDonald who plays linebacker."
Jones will have an opportunity to compete immediately as Stanback is the only returning player who saw significant action in 2013. His goal is to play as a true freshman.
"I sat down with Coach Barrett in the film room and we talked," Jones said. "He was asking me questions and I was telling him stuff I knew. We didn't go real in-depth about what I would be doing. Coach O'Leary did say if I get there and I'm at the top of my game, I will be playing."
One of the highlights of the weekend was being to able to take a picture with UCF's Fiesta Bowl trophy. Jones already had the "Fiesta Bowl Champions" hat that he purchased shortly after the game.
"That game made me even more excited," Jones said of UCF's 52-42 win against Baylor. "For all the people who said we couldn't do it, I laugh in their faces now. A lot of people were doubting us. I go to school wearing that hat every day, happy as ever. A lot of people have been telling me that I made a great choice and the team is looking real good. Big things are going to happen in the years to come."
With the Fiesta Bowl victory came UCF's first top 10 ranking. In talking to players, Jones knows they aren't satisfied.
"Will Stanback told me, 'I promise you, no other team in the nation works as hard as we do.' Just from that I can tell they're still hungry. They're not satisfied being ranked No. 10. They want to keep going. I was looking at the workouts and yeah, they do work hard. But if you want to be the best, you've got to do the work."
Jones will likely enroll at UCF in late June for Summer B, but said there's a chance he comes in for Summer A.
"There are two dates I can enroll," he said. "May 12 or June 18, I think they said. I think the seniors leave school on May 16, so if I could make it work I might think about doing it for A."
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