Bryan Jones‘ offer list has ballooned to 33 as of Friday evening.
Forty-eight hours later, his mind was made up.
The nation’s No. 6 strong-side defensive end committed to Ole Miss Sunday night in a decision he made in order to focus his attention on the upcoming football season.
“It’s been a long, fun process,” Jones tweeted. “I want to thank all the schools that extended me an offer … I will be furthering my education and football career at Ole Miss. I am now a Rebel. My main focus now is helping my team win a state championship.”
The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder out of Madison Prep Academy (Baton Rouge, La.) was among the most sought-after prospects at his position in the country.
Despite holding offers from more than 30 schools, including Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Missouri, South Carolina, Southern California and Texas, Jones was largely connected with LSU.
Louisiana’s No. 8 prospect in the Class of 2017 made two unofficial visits this spring to nearby LSU and attended one of the spring practices sessions last month. He was greeted by LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron in his high school weight room last month.
Although Jones did not hold an offer from the in-state Tigers at this point in his recruitment, LSU and the four-star prospect had a mutual interest in each other.
Jones was among LSU’s top defensive end targets in this year’s recruiting class.
Offer or not, both Orgeron and LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were courting Jones to join the purple and gold, and the defensive end had visions on furthering his career for his hometown team.
“They said I would be even bigger when I get in college and they said I can be the next best pass-rusher that came through there,” Jones told SEC Country earlier this spring. “It’s like they’re really interested in having me.”
LSU will have its work cut out to either flip Jones or pursue other defensive ends on its big board.
The easiest and most clear avenue to doing so would be finally extending an offer to the elite four-star prospect.