Syracuse offers Iowa's top RB target

Syracuse assistant coach Tyrone Wheatley saw 2014 running back Jeff Jones (Minneapolis/Washburn) on the camp scene this summer, so it is no surprise Syracuse extended an offer to Jones last week.

The ESPN Watch List junior now has seven offers, all from BCS programs.

The Syracuse offer intrigues Jones because Wheatley is the one recruiting him. Wheatley was at Michigan before spending several seasons in the NFL.

“He played at Michigan, and there’s a great history of running backs [at Syracuse] with Jim Brown and Ernie Davis,” Jones said.

Iowa, which has offered, hosted Jones for a visit Sept. 29, and the 6-foot, 190-pound back liked what he saw on his second visit to Iowa City.

“It was a nice environment. The atmosphere was great, people were out there barbecuing. There were a lot of Iowa fans,” he said.

Assistant coach Eric Johnson is heading up Jones’ recruiting, and the two stay in contact from time to time. Jones has a pretty good feel on the Hawkeyes after visiting twice now.

“I really like them,” he said. “They seem to care about their players. And as you can see they’re playing with their fullback [at running back] and the offense is efficient no matter who’s in it.”

With the Hawkeyes having a bye week this past Saturday, Johnson was at Jones’ school on Oct. 1. He told Jones’ coach that he is the No. 1 running back on the Hawkeyes’ board.

Illinois, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Wisconsin have also offered.