In-state DE makes first Tuscaloosa trip

Alabama hosted dozens of top prospects over the weekend for junior day including several in-state standouts. One of them had yet to make a trip to Tuscaloosa despite being a fan of the program for some time.

Kendell Jones isn't an unknown recruit any longer.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end out of Pinson (Ala.) Clay-Chalkville had a solid junior season for the Cougars and began hearing from some programs while seniors Hayden Moore (Cincinnati) and Jalen Harvey (Syracuse) signed with BCS-level schools.

Busy with visits during this time of year, Jones was in Tuscaloosa for the first time over the weekend.

"It was just me and my family, and it was the first time meeting the coaches," he said. "I loved it. They are happy to have me here. I loved it, the campus was awesome. "

The junior hit it off with a pair of trench coaches on campus shortly after arriving for Saturday's junior day and a return trip has already been discussed.

"The coaches were awesome, they showed me a lot of love," Jones said. "I talked to Coach [Mario] Cristobal and Coach [Bo] Davis, and they said they were happy to see me, and want me back in June for their OL/DL camp.

"I will be attending that camp."

The defensive end had some teammates from Clay-Chalkville nearby for most of the day in fellow junior and running back Terelle West and big-time sophomore T.J. Simmons, a wide receiver already with a pair of offers to his name.

May two or all three end up signing with the same program one day?

"I think they said it was pretty fun (at Alabama)," he said. "We talk about playing together at the next level, but I don't want to choose yet, there's still more (offers) to come. "

One came on Wednesday for Jones, as Southern Miss because Jones' second extension following Mississippi State's ice breaker last month. But one from the in-state program could go a long way if it is to happen this summer or later on.

"It would mean a lot," he said. "Mostly because it's my hometown. I grew up rooting for them."

Jones is in no rush to narrow his list or to make a commitment at this time. He is slated to visit Southern Miss later on this month.

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