Carlise, Jones happy with Mis­souri’s hire

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY - By Chris Hays [email protected]­lan­dosen­

Jay­lon Carlise and Tyler Jones started to feel as if they were cursed.

Af­ter go­ing through three dif­fer­ent head coaches in the past eight months at West Orange High, they thought re­lief was on the hori­zon af­ter their re­cent com­mit­ments to the Uni­ver­sity of Mis­souri.

Then came news Nov. 30 that Mis­souri had fired head coach Barry Odom. Just 18 days af­ter com­mit­ting to play for the Tigers, once again Carlise and Jones were with­out a head coach.

“Just an­other wave of ad­ver­sity,” Carlise said. “It was kind of a mo­ment where we just felt stuck in the mid­dle again. Me and Tyler had just com­mit­ted, so it was a mo­ment where we were both like, ‘Man, an­other tough time we’re about to go through.’ ”

Mis­souri of­fi­cials re­port­edly se­cured at least the short-term fu­ture of Mis­souri foot­ball with the hir­ing of for­mer Ap­palachian State coach Eli Drinkwitz.

“I’m glad that found its way to be over with quickly,” Carlise said.

Carlise and Jones will take their second of­fi­cial vis­its to Mis­souri this week­end, trips that are al­lowed by the NCAA due to the school’s coach­ing change.

Jones said he was happy to learn Drinkwitz was poised to be in­tro­duced as the Tigers’ new coach.

“I think he sounds like a good coach and ob­vi­ously I got to meet him,” Jones said, “What I’ve seen from App State this sea­son while he was there, they up­set a few teams … they’ve been known for up­set­ting teams, and some teams are even afraid to play them.

“So yeah, I think he’ll fit good with the pro­gram and I’m just go­ing off what I saw of him at App State.”

Carlise said most of the Mis­souri com­mits were happy with the choice of Drinkwitz.

“It all looks good so far,” Carlise said. “We have a group chat with all the com­mits, and we were all talk­ing about it and we feel pretty con­fi­dent with who they brought in.”

The ur­gency Mis­souri placed on com­plet­ing the hir­ing process was also re­as­sur­ing to Jones, who re­ceived a strong re­cruit­ing push from Wake For­est af­ter the Odom fir­ing.

“I still ob­vi­ously got to go up and meet him,” Jones said. “Wake For­est is com­ing to the school with the head coach [Dave Claw­son] to talk to me just in case I get up there and I don’t like ev­ery­thing. … But yeah, that just made it a lit­tle eas­ier, them get­ting this done so quickly.”

As­sum­ing all goes well dur­ing their vis­its this week­end, Carlise, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound re­ceiver, and Jones, a 6-1, 180-pound de­fen­sive back, will sign na­tional letters of in­tent dur­ing the early sign­ing pe­riod Dec. 18. Nei­ther plans to en­roll early, hav­ing de­cided to re­main at West Orange un­til grad­u­a­tion in May.

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