Stephen's Report

Alabama safety Laurence “Hootie” Jones: An opportunity to come full circle in 2016

Alabama safety Laurence "Hootie" Jones (No. 6): Roderick Mason- TDAL Magazine

Will Tide fans see the Louisiana native put it all together?

It’s the question and goal on the mind Laurence “Hootie” Jones. The rising junior enters his third year at safety at Alabama, a year that could lead to him having more playing time with Geno Matias-Smith and Jabriel Washington gone.

Jones was a consensus four-star prospect and one of the nation’s top safeties, when he enrolled in 2014 from Neville High School. He was listed as the nation’s No. 3 safety (No. 27, ESPN 300) according to ESPN and No. 4 safety, per Rivals.

He was one of three players from Louisiana to come to Alabama in 2014, joining offensive tackle Cam Robinson and wide receiver Cam Sims. Jones, 6-foot-2 and 214 pounds, has registered four total tackles in 16 games.

He’s made improvements in spring practice, lining up third in positions drills behind Maurice Smith and Ronnie Harrison.

Jones was tied for fourth on the Crimson team in tackles (five) during last week’s spring game, despite a 7-3 loss.

Ball skills and sound tackling are two things he has to go with his size. He lacks valuable reps in marquee games; however, if he continues to work in summer conditioning and fall camp Jones will have a chance. He’s earned reps in Alabama’s second-team defense at safety.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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