Austin (Texas) Westlake four-star linebacker Levi Jones was the first recruit on the signing day announcement docket for USC.
Choosing between the Trojans, Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators, most recruiting writers pegged Jones to Tallahassee (Fla.). But as predicted by USCFootball.com, Jones' heart was with USC.
“Fight on,” said Jones, who was up until midnight making his final choice. "The comfort level... the opportunity to go to a great school and make an impact. Just overall, it's just a great place to be at."
Jones becomes commitment No. 20 for USC in what projects to be a very successful day of recruiting for the Trojans.
"From the beginning Coach [Clay] Helton never pressured me," said Jones. "He told me to get out and look at all of my options. The relationship with the people in my class, like Hunter Echols, Brett Nielon... all of them, it was great."
At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Jones was recruited to play inside linebacker by USC assistant coaches Tommie Robinson and Johnny Nansen.
As a senior, Jones had 103 tackles with 12 for losses. He had four sacks to go along with two forced fumbles.
Jones' first glimpse of USC came last spring on an unofficial visit. There he met Trojans’ head coach Clay Helton and watched the USC football team practice for spring drills.
But it was life away from football that was drawing him to Los Angeles.
“I’ve always envisioned myself moving and living on the West Coast,” said Jones in March. “Being out here, visiting, I can see myself living out here for the next few years. I feel like I can.
“I love the great weather and I’ve always thought about life after football with the entertainment industry and things like that. I want to major in business, so I’m thinking about that with each school as well. To be honest, I’ve always just been interested in the L.A. vibe.”
Jones followed up his unofficial visit to USC with a return trip to Los Angeles three weeks ago. While he was hosted on his official visit by Trojan sophomore running back Aca’Cedric Ware and sophomore tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe, the class of 2017 did a lot to recruit itself.
“Hanging out with Hunter Echols and those guys was a big deal,” said Jones. “You visit these schools to talk to the players, but also the other recruits.
“You want to know why they picked that school. What was it that gave them that feeling?
“With USC, I already knew a bunch of their commits. It was a family atmosphere there. The degree and its importance were big too. USC has the football and academic aspects that all of the recruits talk about.”
Also, check out our quick glance at the 2017 USC Trojans recruiting class to see the latest updates on who has signed.
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