Hawkeyes making RB Jeff Jones a priority

Jeff Jones (Minneapolis/Washburn) is no stranger to Iowa City. He has been there a few times and has already seen a lot of what the Hawkeyes' program has to offer.

But he saw something new Saturday. He saw just how much passion Hawkeyes fans have for the Iowa program.

The Hawkeyes dropped to 4-6 on the season with a loss, but the ESPN Watch List back said based on the fan support it was hard to tell Iowa was going through a rough season.

“The way the fans reacted to the loss was surprising,” Jones said. “It’s a 4-6 season, but there’s the game in Iowa and the fans gather. That’s something you want to see in a school. The fans were in it.”

Jones did not have much of an opportunity to talk with recruiter Eric Johnson because of the loss, but the message from the Hawkeyes is clear: Jones is one of their top 2014 targets. The 6-foot-0, 190-pound running back has seven offers, but the Hawkeyes are one of the programs showing him the most interest.

“Minnesota, Michigan State, Wisconsin, those are the main four with Iowa,” Jones said. “Out of those four, showing me the most has been Iowa and Minnesota.”

Much like Iowa, the Gophers are making Jones a priority. Second-year coach Jerry Kill is hoping to keep such top in-state talent from leaving the state.

“They said I wouldn’t redshirt, I’d play right away as a true freshman,” he said. “They really want me. I’m their top guy for 2014.”

Despite playing much of the season at receiver, Jones managed to rush for more than 1,000 yards.