What's New with Jones

USC has had much success recruiting over the past five years and at times its fans are caught by surprise with who commits from out of state. Joe McKnight from River Ridge, LA has had the Trojans at the top of his list with LSU since June, but Baton Rouge safety, Chad Jones, wasn't a name on the radar until a friend notified USC he should be evaluated.

How does an elite prospect from the home of LSU end up interested in USC, scheduling an official visit and developing high interest in the school?

"I guess they kind of caught word from one of the players they're recruiting, Joe McKnight," Jones said. "Then they (USC) asked for some film on me. We shipped the film next-day and they left messages all over my phone after watching it saying, 'We need you Chad Jones. We need you to come play for USC.' I called them back and we set up a visit for Dec. 15.

"Once I got turned onto USC, I just knew I liked it and I wanted to take a visit," Jones said. "When I was talking to Ken Norton (USC linebackers), he popped the question, ‘When can we get you down here for a visit?' He said, ‘Joe is coming out on Dec. 15 and I feel you should schedule the trip, and go with Joe.' It will be real good trip getting to spend some time with my friend and visiting a college that I like."

Jones said he talks to Ken Norton Jr. often, so he knows as much about USC as possible without visiting, but he was asked what it was about USC that interests him the most.

"It's a premier school, you know?, Jones said. "I see them (USC) on TV, but I never thought they'd come down to southern Louisiana and come find me--I know that for sure."

It didn't take long for an answer after Jones was asked what was the most important factor in choosing from the schools he's interested in.

"My options to play," Jones said. "I know how the DB's at LSU are looking right now, and I'll have to see how they're looking at USC. That will probably be one of the biggest factors in my decision. I want to play early and not red shirt because I'm a baseball man--I play baseball."

Jones isn't too familiar with the Trojans' depth chart at safety, but it was no surprise he was familiar with the Tigers'.

"They (LSU) have two graduating seniors and a bunch of young sophomores," Jones said. "They have a lot of young guys."

Norton Jr. phoned while Jones was talking to us. He said Norton told him he would be visiting this week. Jones said Florida State visited last week, Ole Miss will visit this week and he visited LSU on last Sunday (Dec. 3).

With USC being far from home, does USC honestly have a legit shot at signing Jones?

"They're (USC) in my top-two or top-three right now," Jones said.

Florida and Florida State are vying for a spot in Jones's top-three with LSU and USC, and said, "I'd say Florida has the edge right now. I have a real good relationship with the coach and I talk to him frequently. I just like that they're the SEC powerhouse conference. I haven't set a visit to Florida, yet, but I will."

We'll have a full report after USC's in-home visit with Jones.

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