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Updated: June 30th, 2014 12:50pm
Gophers RB recruit Jeff Jones reportedly unable to raise ACT score

Gophers RB recruit Jeff Jones reportedly unable to raise ACT score

by Nate Sandell
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Highly touted Gophers recruit Jeff Jones has hit another snag in his struggle to become academically eligible to join Minnesota this fall.

The Minneapolis Washburn running back was not able to bump up his score on the ACT exam when he retook the test in mid-June, the Star Tribune's Joe Christensen reported on Monday.

Jones improved his score in April, but it was still not enough to qualify.

The NCAA determines academic eligibility with a sliding scale that combines exam scores with grade-point average.

Jones is enrolled in summer classes in an attempt to boost his GPA. Jones ultimately must wait until the NCAA clearinghouse makes a ruling on his collegiate fate.

Coach Jerry Kill and the Gophers have repeatedly expressed confidence that Jones will be able to join the team for the upcoming season.

Jones, the co-MVP of the Under Armour All-American game, was considered a major highlight of Kill's 2014 recruiting class. Ranked by several recruiting sites as one of top running back recruits, Jones totaled 1,525 rushing yards and 42 yards as a senior for Minneapolis Washburn.

If he does not qualify, Jones may have to spend two years at the junior college level. Iowa Western Community College would likely be his destination if he chooses to take that route.

In his report, Christensen suggested another possible option Jones could take if he is ruled ineligible for a scholarship. Jones would be able to apply for admission at Minnesota. If admitted, he would not be on scholarship and unable to work out with the team, but he would be allowed to begin the adjustment to college with the idea that he would be eligible by the fall of 2015.

With the Gophers now possessing legitimate depth at running back (David Cobb, Rodrick Williams, Donnell Kirkwood and Berkley Edwards), Jones was already thought to be a prime candidate to take a redshirt this season.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell