Soon, the Tiger staff could make a bid for the nation’s No. 11 ranked middle linebacker: St. Pius X standout Kellen Jones.
At 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, Jones broke onto the Texas football scene with 75 tackles in nine games played last season. A force in the backfield, Jones managed 22 tackles for losses, three forced fumbles, three fumbles recovered, six sacks, a safety and an interception.
The big play didn’t stop there.
On special teams, the junior linebacker totaled six blocked kicks, four blocked punts and two blocked field goals.
While college coaches began offering 2011 prospects last September, Jones went through his entire junior season without receiving a scholarship from any program.
Then on Feb. 26, Kansas State called up Jones with an offer. Over the next few months, 16 teams would follow suit.
“It’s been pretty hectic since that first offer came,” Jones said. “I kind of blew up, and it came right when I started to wonder when things would get going. I have just been taking everything in as much as I can. I’m keeping track of every program that is after me, and I’m also doing all the research of other schools that I need to.”
“They all have nice academics, and that is going to be a major factor in my decision,” Jones said. “My top three priorities are academics, a winning program and then location. I will bend a little with each one, but whoever has the best balance will be a good choice.”
One school Jones still wants to hear from is LSU, which has become a favorite choice for Houston recruits in recent years.
“I am very interested in LSU,” he said. “The coaches said that they really liked my film. They were talking some things over, but I feel like the coach I talked with liked me.”
The four-star prospect has visited Baton Rouge on multiple occasions, including earlier this year for Junior Day activities. Thanks to those visits and some hospitable treatment from the LSU talent, Jones has the Tigers on his mind.
“I ran into Russell Shepard down there, we are old buddies from here in Houston, and he said big things about how good LSU was,” he said. “I really enjoyed the spring game, and I loved the atmosphere around the campus. Everything was nice. My cousin goes there now, and she really enjoys it.”
While Jones doesn’t have plans to make any camps this summer, he will shut down his process early with a July decision.
“I’m going to go ahead and make the decision at the end of July,” he said. “I won’t do any working out, but I will make some campus visits.
“I definitely hope LSU offers, and I just talked to Bob Stoops, so Oklahoma is now in the picture as well. Oregon, Oregon State and California are three teams from out West that are also starting to talk about offering. Right now things are just wide open.”