Over the summer, the 6-foot-2, 210-pounder decided to camp in Tuscaloosa, where the Crimson Tide coaching staff worked Jones out at the safety position – but no scholarship offer was extended.
After missing out on both summer camps in Baton Rouge, and an offer from the Tigers, Jones decided to put an end to his process and choose between the overtures he had already received.
So on Aug. 9, he committed to Nebraska.
Nearly four months later, after Jones had helped carry Jesuit to a 12-0 record and an appearance in the Class 5A state quarterfinals, one of those schools came calling: LSU.
“The day I got the offer from Les Miles was huge for me,” Jones said. “I knew I had been working hard all season, but it didn’t hit home until that offer came.
“I will admit that it was kind of tough for me not to just commit on the spot. But I knew I had given my word to Nebraska, and I was still playing in the postseason, so I just wanted to put it aside for a minute.”
Once the Blue Jays were bounced from the playoffs, Jones sat down with his family and discussed the pros and cons of staying home to play his college ball.
Last Thursday, LSU recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson drove to New Orleans to join the discussion.
“Coach Frank came over for an in-home visit, and that really helped me feel like LSU was the place I needed to be,” Jones said. “My mom and dad were there, and so was my uncle and one of my longtime coaches from back in park ball.
“Coach Frank answered a lot of questions. We asked him how they look at linebacker and the depth they have. He told us they recruited a lot of linebackers in this class because they need guys to come in and be ready to play. We also talked about academics, and he told me about the construction management courses that I could enroll in. That’s my big interest.”
The following morning, Jones called Miles and passed on the word that he wanted to join the program.
“Coach Miles was really excited when he got that phone call,” Jones said. “When he answered and I told him it was me and I wanted to commit to him, he was surprised because he didn’t think I was coming to LSU. I told him I had to be a part of what they have going, and he said it was what he was hoping for.”
What did the coaching staff tell Jones they liked about the Jesuit standout that pushed them to offer at this stage in the game?
“I know they like the fact that I can run,” Jones said. “That’s the one thing that they really talked about. They like that I can think on the run and make plays after I adjust.”
When asked for the biggest factor that led to his ultimate switch, Jones pointed to location.
“Louisiana is home for me, and staying at LSU gives me a chance to be with family,” he said. “They understood why I made the decision, because they wanted me here at a home town school. They are really proud of me for getting the scholarship, because I worked hard for it.
“I’m also around friends over there. I grew up with Dwayne Thomas and Derek Edinburgh, and Landon Collins is still on the board. He could be a Tiger in a month. We all grew up playing park ball in New Orleans together, so it would be cool to all end up playing together at that level. It’s definitely a dream come true for me.”