As Alize Jones prepares for the near future – Saturday afternoon’s 1 p.m. NIAA D-I State Championship game against Reed at Sam Boyd Stadium — his future after high school is somewhat settled.
The Bishop Gorman junior and the top-ranked tight end in the 2015 class recently gave a verbal commitment to UCLA.
“When I first stepped on campus, I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” he said.
After the decision, Twitter exploded, providing a prime example of how the recruiting world has changed.
“You’d get a letter and that was exciting,” Bishop Gorman head coach Tony Sanchez said when talking about recruiting back in his playing days. “Now with social media, it’s unbelievable.”
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Jones’s tweet, “Jus Committed To UCLA”, spread like wildfire, garnering reactions from Bruins fans like “BOOM!!”, “You’ll look great in Blue and Gold!” and “Stoked about your commitment.”
“It was crazy,” Jones said.
Jones has embraced the fan access since the beginning, calling it a “once in a lifetime” type of thing. He also used it as a way to build a relationship with his future coaches, as well as the fans.
For Sanchez, he says embracing social media on your own terms is most important.
“You don’t have to worry about answering every beck and call,” he said. “You can’t let it overwhelm you.”
For Jones, he views social media as fun, especially enjoying when fans of opposing schools argue on threads on his Twitter page. Despite the decision, he says opposing fans of UCLA have been mostly supportive.
As for Jones’s near future, he hopes the next set of tweets he receives will be Congrats on another state title.
STORY AND VIDEO BY BARRY WONG