To say the relationship between the police and the public is strained would be an understatement. Recent incidents in the St. Louis and Baltimore areas serve as examples of that.
The unrest doesn’t discourage Amani Jones. His plan is to study Sociology at Iowa beginning next year with a goal of becoming a state trooper.
Jones hopes to foster change.
"I really have that feeling that I will always be looked up to," Jones said.
The Chicago Phillips Academy linebacker expects to lead on the football field as well. He flipped his verbal commitment from Illinois to Iowa on June 20. He pointed to the facilities and Hawkeye staff as reason for the change.
"The coaches have great bond with the players." he said.
Assistant Brian Ferentz led Iowa’s recruitment of Jones.
"We had a connection when we talked about how great Iowa is and the coaches will lead you to success," the 6-foot, 215-pounder said.
Jones said the Iowa coaches see him as a middle linebacker in their 4-3 scheme.
"I fit right in to it because I have the speed and the down-hill aggression that they’re looking for to win a Big Ten Championship," he said.
In addition to Iowa and Illinois, Jones reported scholarship offers from Indiana, Ball State, Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Toledo, among others. He committed to the Illini in mid April.
"(The Illinois coaches) were upset and it was very hard, like I couldn’t get it out at first. But when I did, the conversation went to another level. They understood," he said.
Jones said, ultimately, he felt more comfortable with the Iowa coaches. He trusts them.
"I feel great about my decision. I did what was best for me but I want to see (Iowa) go back to my high school and do the same and give other players a chance to play on the next level," he said.
The 247 network ranks Jones as a two-star recruit and the No. 36 player in Illinois for ’16. Rivals tabs him as a three-star and the No. 30 player in his state while Scout puts him at three-stars and the No. 2 inside linebacker in the Midwest.