Five Under Consideration; Three Standout

Everything was recently finalized for Tony Jefferson to be an early-enrollee into college. Now, the standout safety from Eastlake High in Chula Vista, Calif., just has to figure out what school he's going to attend.

Tony Jefferson is getting closer to figuring that out.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Jefferson has three favorites in Notre Dame, USC and UCLA. He is also still talking with Oklahoma and Florida, and is no longer considering any other programs.

"It was getting kind of hectic," Jefferson said.

Jefferson would like to make a verbal commitment in September, and has already taken visits to USC and UCLA. On April 18th, he will make his first-ever trip to Notre Dame. Jefferson will be joined by his parents and best friend.

"I'm trying to take in the hype and excitement that's there," Jefferson began. "What's already getting me, is that there is going to be a spring game, and there is going to be over 40,000 people at it, and that tells a lot about the program. I want to see how they play in person, I want to see how the coaches are, I want to see the team chemistry, and basically just to get that gut feeling to let me know if I belong there.

"I've never actually been out in that area, but from what I hear about it, it's somewhere I can see myself playing in that environment. I love the coaches, a nice head coach, the prestige of the program is really good, and I like how they play true freshmen. And I know they're going back to what they used to be. I can see that coming. They've had some really good recruiting classes, and they're going to get another good one this year."

The Irish coaching staff is hoping that includes Jefferson.

In helping lead Eastlake to a 10-2 record this past fall, Jefferson rushed for 1,322 yards and 26 touchdowns. On defense, Jefferson had 89 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Notre Dame assistant coach Brian Polian has really emphasized to Jefferson how much they need him in the secondary.

"He was telling me by the time I get there, guys there right now will already be either drafted or graduated. He said they're in a real need for a player like me at that position, and they're really hoping I go there because I can help them out tremendously, and also make an impact as soon as I get there. And that's a huge plus because a lot of high-schoolers looking to go to college want to go to a place where they can play early. To hear it from a coach is great."

Jefferson is also hearing positive things about Notre Dame from his parents.

"My Dad is in love with Notre Dame, and my mom likes it too," Jefferson said. "It's a catholic school, and they're fine with it, just like they would be about any other college."

Jefferson says he's seen everything he needs to see at UCLA. He is planning on taking one more trip to USC, most likely with an official visit, and also hopes to see Florida and Oklahoma with his own eyes.

"I can't take an official visit until Sept. 1st, and that will likely be too late for them," Jefferson explained. "I might have to cough up the money and get on a plane and go see those places, but I want my parents to be there too."

All things Jefferson will have figured out in the next six months. Top Stories