Wisconsin football recruiting: Clemson transfer LB Kellen Jones signs with Badgers

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The former Tigers linebacker, who began his career at Oklahoma, will be a Badger this season.

Former Clemson linebacker Kellen Jones has transferred and signed with Wisconsin, reports 247Sports' Evan Flood.

Jones, who received an economics degree from Clemson, will be eligible to play immediate at Wisconsin as a senior. The 6'0, 230-pound linebacker will enroll in a graduate program at UW and took an official visit to Madison earlier this week, according to Flood.

Jones began his college career at Oklahoma, playing one season in 2011 before transferring to Clemson. He sat out the 2012 season under NCAA transfer rules and in 2013 appeared in three games before sustaining a season-ending ACL injury. Last season, in 2014, he played in 13 games and recorded 29 tackles with one forced fumble in 139 snaps.

Jones left Clemson in February, according to TigerNet.com.


TigerNet has spoken with former Clemson linebacker Kellen Jones' father Sean, and he confirmed reports that Kellen is leaving the Clemson program.

"Yeah. He is really excited about graduating and living in another city for grad school," Jones told TigerNet. "He is proud to be graduating form Clemson with his degree in Economics. Moving on to a new city on his own and starting graduate school has him thrilled beyond words. He has had a lot of fun as a Clemson student athlete. He especially enjoyed the professors and support staff in the Economic Department. Kellen said it was awesome playing for Coach Swinney and their one on one meetings about life were equally awesome. Kellen wishes nothing but the best for his Tiger teammates. A very special thanks and God Bless to his "uncle" JD/Jeff Davis. Also thanks and God Bless James Trapp for helping him spiritually, their conversations were thought provoking and very beneficial to all of us."

Given his experience, Jones could push T.J. Edwards and Leon Jacobs for playing time at inside linebacker.

As B5Q's Neal Olson wrote in his linebackers preview earlier this week, the Badgers have no returning starters at the position and while Edwards and Jacobs were promising in the spring, it remains to be seen what fall camp holds.


The inside linebacker spots are not quite as established. Junior Leon Jacobs and redshirt freshman T.J. Edwards emerged as the likely starters after spring practice, but neither has much experience playing insider linebacker.

Jacobs started out as a freshman playing on the outside after he spent a majority of his high school days playing basketball. Last season, he earned a start at inside linebacker against Illinois filling in for the injured Marcus Trotter. Jacobs finished with 12 tackles and proved more than capable playing inside. Not to be forgotten, one of Jacob's first impressions in Madison was catching Melvin Gordon from behind after a long run during fall camp as a true freshman.

Much like Jacobs, Edwards has little experience at linebacker and has yet to step on the field as a college football player. Edwards played quarterback in high school and was only brought in on defense in spot duty or big games. Edwards used his redshirt season to focus solely on defense and was rewarded as the unquestioned breakout star during spring practice.

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