Jhamon Ausbon had trimmed his list of top schools down to two just a week after releasing a top four.
Both LSU and Texas A&M made the cut, and not surprisingly, both SEC West powers represented his hometown teams.
The nation’s No. 11 wide receiver made visits to both College Station, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La., within a week of each other. The latter resulted in Ausbon making a silent commitment.
The elite Texas receiver could not keep the pledge under wraps for long, though, announcing his commitment to LSU exactly a week after he had made up his mind. After all, LSU is Ausbon’s dream school, and he now entrenched himself as a key part of the Tigers’ future.
“My big thing is that I want to be prepared for the next level and, hopefully, I can get there,” Ausbon told SEC Country. “I wanted to go to the program that could develop me the most. LSU’s system has the most pro routes, the comeback digs, and the most pro concepts. On top of that, there’s the tradition and the coaching. You’re getting all of it in one — and in my hometown. It was just the potential and the development and, the main thing, making me the best wide receiver I can be.”
The 6-foot-3, 217-pound prospect made the visit to Baton Rouge, La., a week after meeting with the LSU coaches in Houston during their satellite camp tour through the Lone Star State.
Ausbon’s recruitment wasn’t even a subject of conversation during his interaction with coach Les Miles and wide receivers coach Dameyune Craig, but it certainly had an effect.
The talks paved the way for Ausbon to plan a trip to the LSU campus and get a taste of what playing under Miles and Craig would feel like. For the first time in his recruitment, the one-time Baylor commit had a moment of clarity regarding his future.
“During the satellite camp and talking to the coaches and being around, I got a weird gut feeling,” Ausbon explained. “I had never looked at the business school. But I talked to the coaches about the business program, and my brothers, my sisters, everyone is from Baton Rouge. We were talking to Les Miles and I got this weird feeling. LSU was my dream school, so it wasn’t that hard. I balanced that with the opportunities that I never even looked into and a lot of the opportunities that I saw.”
Both Craig and area recruiter Bradley Dale Peveto spearheaded Ausbon’s recruitment, but it was LSU’s wide receivers coach that ultimately made the difference.
Craig got to coach up Ausbon during the team’s satellite camp at Episcopal High School (Bellaire, Texas). Ausbon first informed his future position coach of his silent commitment during a three-way phone call with Craig and his parents. About a week later, he was again speaking with Craig, who helped him realize there was no reason to hide it.
“We were talking and he and Coach Miles were just talking, and I was like ‘Why wait?’ so I just did it,” Ausbon explained.
“(Craig) explained how he would work with me and we talked and he brought everything to my eyes,” he added. “This could be the reality. He played quarterback in the NFL and in college at a high level, and from a quarterback’s point of view is the best way I can learn. He’s a good guy with a good personality, and out of football he showed he’s real and can help me grow as a man and as a player.”
Florida’s No. 14-rated prospect will have a chance to take the next step in his football career in front of quite the audience.
No, not just the fans that pile into Tiger Stadium each and every Saturday, but the entire Ausbon family that will now have the opportunity to make the short trip to LSU to watch the elite wide receiver in action.
Ausbon will play his senior season for the IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), but he hails from Texas and has family ties in and around Louisiana. Ausbon’s father is from Baton Rouge, La., and he has family that still resides in that part of The Boot and also in New Orleans.
He has a lot of family to keep track of, but LSU provided a middle ground for the entire group to congregate.
“It’s crazy … you don’t even understand. My family is massive,” Ausbon laughed. “Everybody is basically down here. My dad came here for work when he was younger, but I have a large amount of family in the Baton Rouge area and in New Orleans. He’s originally from New Orleans.
“I was born in Baton Rouge, so I’m really Cajun. A lot of my family is near LSU and in Baton Rouge, and I want them to come to all my games. Now my grandma can come, and that’s important because I’m a big family guy. I want my family to see me play, and that’s really important during my college years.”