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4 DAYS TO 2019 KICKOFF: Wayne Jones

In which BracketCat counts down the fourth day until the 2019 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State defensive back Wayne Jones.

#4 Wayne Jones
Wayne Jones (4) saw extremely limited playing time last season and was able to retain his redshirt in doing so, which is perfect for his development.
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

Goal No. 4: IMPROVE. Every day... as a player, person and student.

#4 Wayne Jones

Redshirt Freshman | 6-0 | 205 lbs. | Owasso, Oklahoma
Wayne Jones
Wayne Jones
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive Back
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Starter
  • Status: On Scholarship

Harold Wayne Jones III (b. May 25, 2000) is a young, athletic defensive back who graduated high school early to enroll at K-State. He is majoring in communication.

Jones had two solo tackles and returned an interception of Hunter Hall for 19 yards as a starter for the Purple team in the 2018 spring game.

He played in two games in 2018, enough to preserve his redshirt, and saw time against both Texas Tech and Iowa State, the latter where he recorded a tackle on kickoff coverage.

According to safeties coach Joe Klanderman, Jones currently is in line to start at safety opposite Denzel Goolsby, which certainly is saying something about his talent level.

He previously played under head coach Bill Blankenship at Owasso High School, where he was rated the 12th-best prospect in the state of Oklahoma for the Class of 2018 by 247Sports, while he is No. 17 by ESPN and No. 19 by Rivals.

Jones helped to lead the Rams to a 2017 Oklahoma Class 6A-I State Championship as he was named a second team all-state performer by The Oklahoman and The Tulsa World.

He was rated No. 10 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings prior to the season and viewed as the third-best safety in Oklahoma, according to The Tulsa World’s preseason rankings.

Jones also participated in track and wrestling. Here’s what Ian Boyd at SportsTreatise had to say about his potential as a defensive back:

Jones is a safety all the way. He makes several nice plays, demonstrating range and good eyes in deep zone and also some nice plays down in off coverage.

For whatever reason, K-State has made fire zones and occasional Cover 3 a big part of their package, rather than using more quarters/zero combos, so having a guy that can play that is definitely valuable.

He probably fits best at their free safety position while giving way to a better athlete at the field-side strong safety spot, but he’s a good one and could probably play either.

Jones picked the Wildcats over offers from Arkansas State, Illinois, Louisville, Memphis, Michigan State, Nevada, New Mexico, North Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma State, Purdue, SMU and UTSA.

He also drew Power 5 interest from Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas A&M.