MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

February 4, 2009

Wagoner LB strikes ‘favorable comparison’

WAGONER — Dale Condict got the telephone call last spring. It was Brent Venables, the University of Oklahoma defensive coordinator, on the other end of the line.

Condict, the Wagoner High School coach, sent out videotapes of linebacker Gus Jones. Venables couldn’t call back fast enough.

“He called to say he had misplaced the film, but later found it and watched it,” Condict said. “He said he took it into coach (Bob) Stoops and told him, ‘We’ve got one here.’”

Stoops apparently agreed. The Sooners’ pursuit of Jones ended Wednesday — the national signing day for high school football players —with the signing of the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder to a scholarship.

“(Venables) told me Gus reminded him of Curtis Lofton (a former standout linebacker at OU) the first time he saw him because of the effort Gus gave in a game,” Condict said. “That’s a pretty nice comparison.”

As it turns out, Venables reminded Jones of someone he knew and respected. Guy Gaylor was a former linebackers coach at Wagoner now at Broken Arrow.

“They are two guys with tremendous energy,” Jones said. “They strive to push you harder and that’s what I’m looking for in a college coach.”

Jones is one of three prep linebackers signed by the Sooners. joining Ronnell Lewis of Dewar and Tom Wort of New Braunfels, Texas. He finished his senior season with 111 tackles, including 12 for a loss with five fumble recoveries, four sacks and 15 quarterback pressures.

Chosen to the All-Phoenix Area Football Team, Jones made a non-binding verbal commitment to the Sooners. He later took recruiting trips to Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Arkansas, Kansas State as well as Oklahoma. He was also recruited by Texas Tech, Missouri and Kansas.

The other schools were nice, but Jones knew he wanted to be a Sooner.

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