You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 10:18 a.m.

Michigan football recruit Kellen Jones earned reputation as a 'violent' hitter

By Pete Cunningham


Kellen Jones

How can Brady Hoke and his staff stem the tide of points (31.5 points per game) and yards (423 yards per game) the Michigan football team allowed the past two seasons?

Look no further than linebacker recruit Kellen Jones, St. Pius (Houston) football coach Jason Kimball said.

“He’s just a violent football player. He’s going to leave his mark when he makes contact with you,” Kimball said of Jones, who confirmed his commitment to Michigan last week in advance of national signing day on Feb. 3.

Jones’ high school highlight tape, which features mostly clips from his junior season, shows him putting that tough approach to good use. Kimball points out that the game tape is limited to nine of the team’s 12 games from that season, however, because of perhaps the hardest hit Jones delivered all year came in a preseason scrimmage.

In the scrimmage, the opposing team was ran a sweep. Jones pursued the running back and delivered a hit that Kimball said puts his highlight reel to shame.

“Let’s just say the guy’s momentum stopped going forward instantly. It was amazing that they were both conscious after that hit,” Kimball said. “I don’t know how both of them got up and walked off the field. It was one of those types of collisions that looked like two diesel trucks running into each other.

“Poor running back, he didn’t see it coming, barely.”

Kimball admits his description of the play is a bit of an exaggeration. The players didn’t so much as "walk" off the field. It was more of a stumble.

The hit put both players out for the beginning of the 2009 season as Jones and the running back experienced concussion-type symptoms. Jones came back healthy and earned first-team all-state honors as St. Pius went on to finish runner-up in the TAPPS Division 1 state finals. Jones was a first-team all-state selection as a senior as well.

Some coaches like to claim to have “taught him everything he knows.” Not Kimball.

“I wish we could take more credit. We’ve got some great coaches here, but it’s (Jones’) aggressiveness that’s really made him the player he is,” Kimball said. “We spend actually more time at practice telling him to chalk it back a little bit. … We had to tell him, ‘Hey, man, look, we’re just trying to get a look here, you’re running scout team defense of whatever can you maybe give us a better look, because we’re not going to face a guy like you the whole season.’”

Kimball said Jones carries the same attitude to the classroom, hitting the books as hard as the weights and he believes that was part of the reason Jones committed to Michigan even through the coaching change.

“He likes the school, he likes the atmosphere, he likes where it’s going to get him in life,” Kimball said. “He’s that kind of cerebral kid where he’s going to think through a process and not just react.”

Michigan Football verbal commitments

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.



Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 8 p.m.

little brother in lansing and little sister in that town down south should like the news we may just tackel with some vigor this year. its been a long time comeing. GO BLUE.


Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 7:09 a.m.

If players like Kellen Jones are an example of what Michigan's recruiting will produce, then we have NO worries!


Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 7:02 a.m.

Welcome to Michigan, Kellen Jones! You may not have seen it but there's a cover from Sports Illustrated showing Michigan's Marcus Ray popping Ohio State's David Boston about 5 feet into the air. The caption reads: &quot;Take That!&quot; with sub-caption announcing: No. 1 Michigan flattens Ohio State. May you keep Marcus Ray in mind as an example of what you can be as a Wolverine. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Blu n Tpa

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

Tru2 I have that cover frame in my &quot;man cave&quot;, (more like a cavette, my wife limits the Michigan stuff to a small room), That was a defense! The first game that year, vs Colorado, was a hit feast that started the ball rolling right through to a piece of the NC. TiM Go Blue!

1st Down

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 11:44 p.m.

We are in on 3 potential 4 star LBs, 2 OLB and 1 MLB... hope we get them all! Welcome to Michigan Mr. Jones


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

OSU, quit picking on us, we're doing the best we can.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

If i remember correctly you guys were the same ones talking about how Tate Forcier was &quot;Exactly the kind of player Michigan needs&quot; because he was such a great student who even graduated HS early. Great to know you're shoring your linebacking crew up with a kid who missed games due to a hit in a HS Scrimmage. Good luck in the big ten kid.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

They always brag up these guys when recruiting so far he's just a good prospect we have to wait and see what he can do in the big 10. Same thing with Hoke he hasn't coached a down as head coach at Michigan. Hate to rain on some of your parades but they brag up all these kids before they play the first game. What do you want them to say, well he'll be pretty good for Michigan maybe just an average player at ohio state.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 9:07 p.m.

@KeepingitReal &quot;contrived physics formula&quot; You owe me an ap----y. Type the formula into your search engine and hit &quot;enter&quot;. I owe JJ, my physics prof, a Thank You. (Yep, actually remembered that.) Yes, hits are getting more violent but equipment is also getting better, so the answer is better coaching. I agree some players are looking for &quot;duh duh,dunt, after a play, but that's part of the culture, I guess. I teach home runs are an accident of a good swing. Same with good hits being the accident of great technique. TiM Go Blue!


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 10:51 p.m.

Stick with football son it's more interesting.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 8:23 p.m.

KiR Assume. Dayrion Taylor 1997. vs PS. I don't forget. My son plays baseball and I know the feeling. I'll look up the equation. It's been &quot;several&quot; years since I was in JJ's Physics class. Deals with mass times velocity being equal on both sides of the equation in a collision. I think.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

Remember: . Maize = Good Blue = Good Big House = very good! Scarlet = Bad Grey = Bad Horseshoe = very bad! . Leprechauns = very bad! Mosaic of religious icons facing football stadium with arms raised = very bad! Shiny Gold helmets = very bad! . Green = very, very bad! cruddy stadium in the middle of E.Lansing = very, very bad! little brothers = very, very, very, bad!! . Isn't life simple?


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

@Blu n Tpa; I think anyone who watches football realize it is a contact sport without having to review some contrived physics formula. If there was not so much concern in the sport about contact, why do you think both college and pro football about the hits that occur. @Ben. I bet you would be highly concerned if you had a son who took a vicious hit and lay there on the field motionless not knowing whether he is injuried for life. Its really bravo to be able to sit on the sideline and make these manly statements but another to be part of the action where your very life maybe at stake. If this kid was permanently injuried during a play, I bet that within six months you or Blu would not even know his name.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

If he is what his coach says we should nickname him &quot;Killing&quot; Jones


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:29 p.m.

I like the attitude of good, hard, physical football. I worry about the tendency of some young people to play for the ESPN highlight segment. Make the tackle first and foremost. The ferocity of the tackle is secondary.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:13 p.m.

rudejude. . . bellomy is on his official michigan visit this week according to bleacher report. . . sounds like we have a good chance of him going blue. . . GO BLUE. . .


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 6:57 p.m.

@Ben, I'm really loving your comments more and more, good job buddy! @RudeJude &amp; Blu, I'd like to see Danny &quot;boy&quot; Hope try and get in Hoke's face after a game and see how that works out for him. Probably not as well as when he did to RR, kinda indicative of how the team played! Don't mess with Hoke cause you won't have Hope!!!!


Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

I'm not surprised you like Ben. He likes to call people &quot;liberals&quot; because they voice concern for the mental health of kids.


Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 4:33 a.m.

What, do you think Hoke is going to take a swing at him or something? Hoke would (and should) be professional and not even respond to clowns like Danny Hope.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Why do people keep posting about how &quot;dangerous&quot; this is? Football is a contact sport. I'm sorry to all who feel that college football should be nothing more than touch football, but that's not the way it is. College football is full contact and if players are not prepared to face the possible consequences of the game, they should not be playing. Properly coached, the player will hit and be hit more safely.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 6:05 p.m.

RudeJude Great get. Even if he doesn't come to UM, having COACH Hoke out there recruiting those kind of players speaks well of his thinking. And when those types of players are considering Michigan, it speaks well of BH and his staff. TiM Go Blue!


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

I'd love to see Danny Hope get upset yet again. : )


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Is there any news about the dual-threat QB Russell Bellomy? He committed to Purdue weeks ago but it is listed on scouts and rivals that he visited Michigan yesterday. He has a 4.11 GPA and sounds looks like a versatile QB. Whether he ends up choosing Michigan in the end, it's nice to know Brady Hoke is pursuing versatile dual-threat QBs! Go Blue


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

Exactly the kind of player Michigan needs. I've read that he's a great kid and good student too. Between him, Desmond Morgan, and a couple really good players rumored to be Michigan leans, this could be Michigan's best linebacker class in memory. And MUCH needed after 5 poor years recruiting the position. Now, it will be the coaches responsibility to develop them and turn them into the aggressive, strong, and smart linebackers of Michigan's past great teams. You can't have a great defense without a great front 7. And excellent linebackers are key building blocks. Go Kellen!


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:40 p.m.

A sound defense and the pro set will get us to the Citrus Bowl in 3 or 4 years.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

Yeah, because the spread and no defense go us to a Gator Bowl blowout.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

Theo. Just like 3 years of a much publicized spread offense and a horrible defense got us the Gator Bowl in 3 years. I'll take sound fundamentals over hype and flash any day of the week.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

Keepingitreal While I'm sure the health of all players, now and in the future, is paramount to this coaching staff, this is football. It is a game of force directed at other bodies in motion, which also means additional force. m1v1=m2v2. Physics. If you don't want to be hit, then football's not your sport, try golf. Coaching teaches how to properly prepare to tackle somebody without injuring yourself, seriously. Getting to this level requires being coached up by other coaches. Staying at this level means the coaches know what their doing. Injuries hurt more than just the player. It hurts the team. Michigan has had a lot of injuries. It can be bad luck, which happens. Or it can be bad coaching, which also happens. Hopefully changing coaches improves the luck. TiM Go Blue!

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:14 p.m.

This has to be the start in a change of the mind-set of Michigan football players. No more of their guys going across the middle on medium to deep routes, with take downs. Passes are going to be made but make sure the guys catching them think about what's to come. I watched the bowl game and lamented the fact that Michigan defenders weren't in position to &quot;bring the house&quot; on recievers. Same with backs out of the backfield. Coach Hoke has to get a hit squad mentality going. Just when they think they're breaking out of the hole, pop 'em! Clean hits. Solid, squared up, drive through them tackles. I want to see &quot;Wizard of Oz&quot; defense! You know, so many Michigan guys to the ball they think a house fell on them! TiM Go Blue!


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:48 p.m.

I was just thinking the same thing about the &quot;hit squad' mentality and the fact that this defense is going to be leaps and bounds ahead of where it was with Rich Rod, just for the simple fact that we finally have a coach that understand that the game is won based on all three facets. TiM!!!


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:04 p.m.

I worry about his recklessness and his health. The U won't give a damn bout him if his aggressiveness causes him to be concussion prone.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:55 p.m.

^ Brock who :)

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

Just like they don't care about Brock Mealer?


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:57 p.m.

With a guy like this, the opposing offense will think twice about heading his way. Can we clone him?


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

He sounds like a sure tackler and an intimidating one. He is a welcome addition to the defense and may they land more just like him.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

Welcome Mr. Jones! I can't wait to see you light up some Spartans, Irish, and Buckeyes in the future. We need a whole team of guys just like this!

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

After reading the story on concussions in the concurrent New Yorker, I find this kind of stuff chilling.


Wed, Jan 26, 2011 : 4:20 a.m.

Really? Now you call anybody who has concerns about the health of kids &quot;liberals&quot; in a deragatory manner? Contacts sport or not, safety should be the number 1 priority.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

All I can suggest is that you read the story. It's not just &quot;liberals&quot; that are concerned, it's the players and the NFL. The deaths and the early onsets of dementia are happening at a truly frightening rate and the NFL is looking at ways of slowing down exactly the violent open field hits that this guy is being praised for. There's clearly an epidemic of serious brain injury in football. Pull your head out and take a look at reality here, Ben.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 7:46 p.m.

Well Ben, THIS liberal understands how important concussions are when it comes to mental health and also understand and loves the fact that this is a gladiator sport. Why don't you drop the political labels and just comment on the substance of the story.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

You know that those liberals don't understand football as a CONTACT sport? Injuries will happen, it's part of the game.

David Vande Bunte

Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

If this kid turns into the next generation Ronnie Lott or Steve Atwater, I won't complain. This is exactly the kind of player I want...not dirty, but fear instilling.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Sounds good to me. Thanks Coach Rod for signing him and thanks Coach Hoke for keeping him. I have a feeling he will bulk up a little more under the new regime.


Tue, Jan 25, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Welcome Mr. Attitude.