"It's still the same teams," P.J. Jones, reached by phone Wednesday, said. "I'm still looking at all the teams. I'm going to take all my visits and see where it goes from there."
Jones has three official visits scheduled. The first is to Mississippi State the weekend of Jan. 14. He intends to visit Ole Miss a week later. Then he's off to Fayetteville, Ark., for a tour of the University of Arkansas.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Jones said he will likely name his school of choice in February. And while he remains open to all of his finalists, one school, he admitted, is sticking out.
"(Mississippi) State, they're doing great right now. They're kind of sticking out," he said. "Ole Miss, they're kind of down right now. Who knows? I'm just going to take my visits. We'll see."
Mississippi State recently wrapped a 9-4 season with a win in the Gator Bowl over Michigan. But, announced Wednesday, its defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, has since left for Texas.
As reported by the (Jackson) Clarion-Ledger's Kyle Veazey, Diaz interviewed in Austin Tuesday to replace Will Muschamp, who was named the head coach at Florida in December.
Diaz led a Mississippi State defense in 2010 that allowed the third-fewest points per game in the Southeastern Conference.
"It kind of shocked me, you know? I kind of figured he'd stay there and build something," Jones said. "But that's how college football is. Coaches come and go."
Jones entertained Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix and Ole Miss defensive line coach Terry Price at Tupelo High School Tuesday. According to Jones, Nix and Price mostly sold the opportunity for immediate playing time.
"They came to my school yesterday," he said. "They were just talking about me coming in and helping the program out. They need some help on defense, so it sounds pretty good."
Playing time is an important factor for Jones. He wants to contribute as a freshman for the school he ultimately chooses.
"Probably Ole Miss," Jones said, when asked of what school offers the best opportunity to see the field immediately. "They're losing a lot of starters. I just love football. I just want to go somewhere and contribute."
Jones recorded 84 tackles, seven sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery over his senior season at THS. He was named second team All-State for Class 6A by the Mississippi Association of Coaches. He was also selected to play in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic.