Jones - "I knew this morning"

Columbus Carver linebacker Jarvis Jones knew the decision would be a tough one and it turned out to be just that in selecting the USC Trojans over the Texas Longhorns. In fact, Jones says he didn't know he would pick USC until he woke up Wednesday morning.

Jarvis Jones is finished with the process that can be overwhelming for so many 17 and 18 year olds. On Wednesday shortly after 1:30 eastern time, the #72 prospect in the 2009 class stepped to a table with five hats from left to right, Georgia, Texas, USC, Florida and LSU. After toying with the crowd of more than 200 hundred touching both the Georgia and Florida hats, Jones calmly picked up the USC hat and put it on his head smiling. It was as if Jones felt relieved that the process was finally over.

After all of the photographs and TV interviews concluded, Jones sat down with Burnt Orange Beat to talk about how close and difficult the decision was. Jones said he knew he would put the USC hat on this morning.

"I thought about it last night man," Said Jones. "I went to bed thinking USC or Texas. This morning it was USC and I followed my heart. I just woke up and said I was going to USC. Coach Muschamp and I developed a great relationship. I love the University of Texas, man. It's a great school. I think USC is a great school and Coach Norton and I developed a great relationship too. He played linebacker and was a great linebacker. I think he can help me in situations he's been in coaching my through those situations. I think either one I went to, I couldn't have gone wrong. They were both great schools. All of the schools were great," added Jones.

One thing that is for certain after speaking with Jones a few minutes following his announcement is that he kept to himself and even the colleges in contention didn't find out their fate until he announced his decision.

"Well, the schools probably haven't found out unless someone just told them (after he announced). I've been trying to stay to myself this week. I've been kind of frustrated and really didn't know where I wanted to go. There were so many great opportunities," Jones said.

As for when was the last time Jones spoke with a coach from USC or Texas, Jones said it was two days ago.

"It was Monday," Jones said.

In SEC Country, the pick by his teammates and peers was the Florida Gators. The people closest to Jones knew that the four-star linebacker had grown up loving the Gators. Jones said he was still thinking of an SEC team on Sunday night.

"I t was kind of crazy man. Sunday after I got back from LSU, it was really Texas, LSU and USC. I really didn't know where I wanted to go. Right now I'm relieved, but I still don't know where I want to be at. It's kind of surprising that I just did this, but I've made my choice and I'm going to go with it," Jones said.

He added, "Growing up, I was a Florida Gator fan. I'm still a Florida Gator fan. I love them Gators. Like I said, Coach Norton and Coach Muschamp and I developed great relationships. Coach Muschamp was recruiting me when he was at Auburn, so we've got a great relationship. Coach Norton and I have a great relationship. Florida is still in my heart and I'll follow Florida football. I've made my decision and have to live with it.

There had been talk recently that the switch of linebacker Vontez Burfict from USC to Arizona State and Brandon Spikes staying at Florida for his senior season swayed his decision. Jones says that is not true at all.

"I really didn't know anything about that (Burfict) until last night. They (people) are saying I'm afraid of competition and that will never happen. Other player's decision had nothing to do with mine," Jones said emphatically.

Horns Digest Top Stories