Texas Tech is expected to take a smaller defensive back class in 2018 after loading up on JUCO prospects this past signing day. With few spots available in this position group, the coaching staff will be very selective with the prospects they take to ensure that the incoming defensive backs are ready to play early once the JC defenders clear out of the roster.
One such prospect who has been prioritized in this class is 2018 Scout300 member Cameron Jones, ranked as the No. 4 safety in the state and checking in at No. 269 overall. Jones, who opened his recruitment up after initially committing to Texas Tech back in September, listed the Red Raiders in his Top 4 alongside OU, Mississippi State, and UCLA on February 2nd.
"Basically right now I have no favorites. The four schools that I listed are all even. Now, going into my senior year and this summer coming up, Tech is at the same level as OU, OU is at the same level asUCLA and Mississippi State. I'm just going to look into every school and what the school offers outside of the football program, degree-wise. Tech is still looking good in my eyes, but not they're not above anybody or below anybody. They're still in the fight of where I'll be taking my talents."
Jones talked a little bit about why each school made his Top 4.
"The thing about OU is that they have great tradition with the football program and culture. The history behind OU is fantastic with the individual awards, the championships they've won there. I have great respect for coach Stoops."
"With UCLA, they have a great town, a great place to come back and raise your family. UCLA also offers a great degree. If you have a UCLA degree, you've pretty much got the job."
"With Mississippi State, I'm a competitor that loves to compete. The SEC looks to me right now to be the best conference. I would love to play against the best and play with the best. That's why Mississippi State made the list."
"With Texas Tech, I feel like I can come in and start early, make a change to the program. I'd love to leave a mark there and make a change to a great program. It's a great town, the fans are amazing, and me and the coaching staff there are still very tight despite the decommitment. There's still lots of love between me and Tech."
Jones discussed his decision to decommit from Texas Tech back in mid-December.
"I needed to look into everything more. At the time, I was really just looking into being a freshman starter at the school, but I didn't look into everything else like getting a degree and coming back. I feel like I committed at a very early stage, so I wanted to explore my options more, weigh my options, and go from there."
Defensive backs coach Karl Scott is the four-star defender's primary recruiter.
"We still talk at least once or twice a week. We talk outside of football a lot, talk about just him trying to make me into a great man. We've built a great relationship."
Jones, who was offered immediately following the Euless Trinity satellite camp after being evaluated in person by coach Scott and defensive coordinator David Gibbs, had cited their belief in him as one reason he initially committed to Texas Tech. That belief still matters to Jones today.
"Yes. It shows that they believed in me before anybody else did. That wasn't the first camp I had been to, and they were the first ones to believe in my talent."
With an OU junior day visit in the books, the 6-foot, 185-pound safety has trips to Lubbock and Los Angeles planned this spring and will take more visits in the summer while preparing for his senior year.
"Yes sir, I have Tech and UCLA coming up. I'm going to head out in March. Summer I'm going to take some visits and just get ready. I'm going to be playing both sides of the ball, so I'm going to work on my offensive footwork and all that stuff."
Jones holds offers from Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, UCLA, and UTSA. He is receiving interest from Colorado, Louisville, Oregon, TCU, and Texas, among others.