DE Brandon Jones visits Illini

Columbia (Mo.) defensive end has Illini "at the top" of his list following visit

CHAMPAIGN - Columbia (Mo.) Hickman defensive end Brandon Jones on Saturday visited Illinois, what most of his friends and neighbors would consider enemy territory. But the 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end hasn't heard much from the hometown team, so he wanted to check out his options by taking in Saturday's scrimmage of Mizzou's former Arch Rivalry opponent at Memorial Stadium.

"I haven't had an offer from Mizzou yet, so Illinois is at the top of my list right now," Jones said. "It's just exciting to be here and everything. My friends support me in everything I do."

Illinois quarterbacks coach Ryan Cubit, who went to high school in Columbia while his dad -- current UI offensive coordinator Bill Cubit -- coa
ched at Missouri,  is the lead recruiter for Jones. Jones spoke with Ryan Cubit and Illini defensive line coach Mike Phair after the scrimmage.

"I'm just really looking to see how the players interact with the players and everybody and just to see the practice environment," Jones said.

Southeast Missouri State is Jones' only other offer, and the FCS program offered Jones as a tight end. Indiana, Purdue and Kansas State also are showing interest.

What is Jones looking for in school?

"Just a home away from home really," Jones said.

With no Mizzou offer, it appears Jones will be heading away from home.

"I haven't set a timetable yet (on a decision)," Jones said. "That's still yet to be determined."

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