Kendell Jones, a four-star defensive tackle from Shoemaker High School (Killeen, Texas), will no longer report to Alabama because he failed to qualify, SEC Country reported earlier Monday.
His father, Kendell Sr., told SEC Country later Monday his son will need two years at junior college. That means Jones is no longer bound to Alabama by a signed national letter of intent and will be free to sign with any college in the country upon graduation.
A source told SEC Country that Jones will attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Miss. Jones Sr. would not confirm the school.
He did say that he thinks his son would still be interested in Alabama in two years.
“Once he finishes school, he can be free to go where he wants to go,” Jones Sr. said. “If it’s Alabama then it’s Alabama.”
The Jones family grew up in New Orleans and are big LSU fans.
Jones committed to Alabama in May 2015 and did not waver on his commitment after choosing the Crimson Tide over LSU, Texas A&M, Texas and Baylor. He only took one official visit during his recruitment, and that was to Alabama.
The 6-foot-5, 375-pounder nicknamed “Hulk” was one of three defensive tackle signees in the 2016 class. Raekwon Davis, the four-star who had his own academic issues, and Quinnen Williams were the others.
Defensive tackles were a priority for the 2016 class as Alabama will replace stars A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed along with backups D.J. Pettway and Darren Lake this season. Jones would have likely been sophomore Daron Payne’s backup at nose tackle this season.
Jones was ranked as the nation’s No. 12 defensive tackle and the No. 14 prospect in the state of Texas in the Class of 2016.
All rankings are provided by the 247Sports composite unless otherwise noted.
Chris Kirschner covers Alabama football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Bryant-Denny.