Trojans drop in on Jaylon Jones

Allen (Texas) four-star defensive back Jaylon Jones received a visit from USC Wednesday and plans on repaying the favor with his own trip to Los Angeles this summer.

Allen (Texas) four-star safety Jaylon Jones has used the last three months to develop a bond with several college coaches on the recruiting trail.

Wednesday, Jones received a visit from one of those coaches.

USC defensive backs coach Keith Heyward was in the Dallas area to see Jones.

“He came up to the school this morning and then I saw him later in the afternoon, which was nice,” said Jones. “Seeing him for the first time in person today was pretty cool.

“Our relationship is real good, especially considering he’s not even the DFW recruiter for USC. Coach Heyward and I talk more than I do with the area recruiter. We talk a lot and he's a great guy.

“I told him we were coming up there at least once this summer — we might even come up there twice.”

While Jones doesn’t have a date for that visit, USC’s Rising Stars Camp in late June remains an event circled on his calendar. Jones has never been to Los Angeles, although he is hardly opposed to living in Southern California for the next four years.

“USC is in Cali, which is good,” said Jones. “I’m not too picky about location because I’m here to play football, but I am going to be living at a school for four years.

“When I get to campus, I want to know if I can see myself living there. Cali seems like a good place to live because there’s always something fun going - even outside of football during the off season. I’m sure it’s pretty nice, but I have to experience it for myself.

“I already know USC is a good program football wise because they send guys to the league. That’s what I want, and I know Coach Heyward has coached a ton of guys in the league. My goal is to get to that next level after college.

“Basically, I’m looking for the school that helps me get to the league and then gives me the best education for four years that helps me after football.”

Jones is rated the No. 2 cornerback in the state of Texas, although USC sees him as a safety first.

“Coach Heyward likes that I can hit and cover” said Jones. “He thinks I can definitely play safety and even a little nickel back. Like with any coach, I told him wherever he needs me, I’ll play to get on the field.”

Some recruits look at prior recruiting classes as a negative factor when weighing their college options. A strong recruiting class at a school the year before means the potential of limited playing time.

Jones is not one of those recruits.

“I’m not afraid of competition,” said Jones. “For me, I’m looking at it as building a team. Iman Marshall and Adoree Jackson… those are two great guys - two great defensive backs.

“I feel like whoever is the most talented, that can make me better each day in practice. All of us would compete, trying to get better, which makes us all better.

“I’ve kept up a lot with Iman. I don’t talk to him, but since he is a top defensive back, I’ve watched him. For him to go to USC tells me something because another top DB, Adoree Jackson, went there before him. Obviously there’s something good going on there.”

Jones lists other reasons to visit USC this summer.

“What’s really going to make me want to go there is Coach Heyward,” said Jones. “I don’t have a good relationship with all of the coaches, but I do with my position coach, which is all that really matters.

“He’s going to be coaching me if I do go there, so that’s important. And not just because it’s Cali, but yeah, living there in the off season and after football would be nice.”

Jones was close to narrowing his list of college choices to 10, but with additional schools swooping down on Allen over the next few weeks, he is reluctant to make a concise list of favorites until the end of May.

“I’ve got two or three pretty good schools I’m waiting on,” said Jones. “I can tell they’re coming, so I’ve pushed things back a little.

“I don’t know if they’re going to offer, but schools who said they’re coming to visit me are Alabama and Texas. I’m in no rush and still have time. I’m building relationships with these coaches and just enjoying spring ball.”

However, by the end of May, Jones is unlikely to consider additional scholarship offers.

“To me, that’s a little too late,” said Jones. “I’m already building good relationships with schools like TCU and USC, so by the end of spring, I’m coming out with a top 10 or maybe even a top five.

“Teams coming in after May, I’d just start building a relationship with those staffs. To me, that’s a little too late.”

Jones doesn't have a time frame for a commitment, although it is possible he could make a decision at or after attending The Opening Finals in July.

“That’s still up in the air, but there’s a possibility I could do it this summer,” said Jones. “If not, I’ll have to do the official visit thing and see how it all plays out.”

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