Jones recaps official visit

Deion Jones talks about his recent trip to the LSU campus.

Deion Jones committed to Nebraska on Aug. 9, a pledge that remained firm until the Jesuit High linebacker was offered a scholarship by LSU on Nov. 20.

By Dec. 2, Jones – one of the state's fastest rising prospects – had switched direction and was committed to stay home and play for the Tigers.

"That was a decision that wasn't hard for me to make," Jones said. "It was a scholarship offer that I had wanted for a long time, so once I heard from the coaches and knew they wanted me to be in Baton Rouge, I knew I had to make the switch.

"It was the right decision. I haven't thought any more about it."

Jones was one of five prospects on campus for an official visit the weekend of Dec. 16.

Joined by Landon Collins and fellow commits Dwayne Thomas, Ronnie Feist and Lamar Louis, the group began the weekend with a dinner out on the town with LSU coach Les Miles before getting a backstage pass to watch the team prepare for the BCS National Championship Game.

"It was great," Jones said. "Tyrann Mathieu was my player host for the trip, and we were with Anthony Johnson a lot of the time. Tyrann lives with Brandon Taylor, and I chilled with them back at their place with a bunch of other players.

"They were all pretty cool guys. It was nice to see them in that setting, because they are a lot like me. They just like to hang around and have fun with each other. Everyone welcomed me with open arms."

After growing up in New Orleans with Collins and Thomas, Jones circled Friday night's dinner as his chance to catch up with old friends and get closer to new ones.

"Eating dinner with all those guys was cool because we really caught up for the first time in a while," Jones said. "I also got to meet Ronnie and Lamar, and they were really cool. I look forward to being with those guys during practices."

Jones, Feist and Louis are all being recruited as linebackers, giving LSU one of its deepest linebacker classes in years.

For the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Jones, the weekend was a glimpse into how his future will play out in Baton Rouge.

"We were treated like players that Saturday," he said. "We had position coach meetings, so I met with (defensive coordinator John Chavis). Coach Chavis was saying that he wanted to make sure we were comfortable coming into the program, and we talked about what the scheme was. He told me it would be easy to pick up. I got to sit in during a linebacker meeting before practice, so that was my chance to see if I would pick everything up."

As for his position on the depth chart, Jones figures to work at all three linebacker spots before settling into a comfort zone.

"I plan on doing a lot of things," Jones said. "We will see how it works out. Coach Chavis said he would try me on the outside then see how I am in the middle. I played a lot of middle linebacker in high school, and Chavis liked what he saw, so he's not ruling anything out."

Jones said talk of the national championship dominated the visit, and the New Orleans native has the feeling this will be the biggest bowl game to date for the Tigers – despite the fact that the team has won the crystal ball twice in the Superdome.

"I am really looking forward to this big game," Jones said. "Everyone over here in New Orleans is going wild for it. This one will be a lot crazier than all the others, and it's because they are playing Alabama."

What is Jones' feel on Collins, who plans to decide between LSU and Alabama on Jan. 5?

"We didn't really talk about all that during the visit," Jones said. "We just hung out. With his decision and the process, it is what it is. I'll be excited for him."

For now, Jones is busy celebrating the latest pledge to the 2012 class: No. 1 quarterback prospect Gunner Kiel.

"That sounds amazing," Jones said. "Obviously we have Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson leaving, so that's good that we added Gunner. The talent is crazy."


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