One of the top emerging stars in the 2013 recruiting cycle has been current Mississippi State defensive end commit Chris Jones.
The Houston, Mississippi, native has been committed to MSU since last June, but since he blew up at the Under Armour All-American game, Jones has been one of the hottest names making the recruiting rounds. Except, he hasn’t been making the rounds.
Several top schools like Alabama and Florida tried to jump on Jones late in the game but to no avail. It seemed like MSU was going to be the team to land him after all.
However, Jones has been flirting with in-state rival Ole Miss over the last few weeks and has taken multiple visits to Oxford. And because of the rivalry between both schools, Jones claims he’s received death threats, via ESPN (paid link).
“It was a crazy weekend,” Jones said. “I received death threats, insane messages, you name it. I mean, it has not been as stressful as people would think it has been. I have tried to handle it in the most comfortable way possible, so it has really been all right for me, and in the end, I am very blessed to have this opportunity to play for either in-state school.”
What does “death threats” say about the state of recruiting? What a nasty micro example of how horrible recruiting battles can be and just how far lowlife basement dwellers will go in making their voice be heard.
Jones took two secret visits to Ole Miss this past weekend and caused quite a stir on both Ole Miss and Mississippi State websites.
His entire weekend was documented to a T in this incredible timeline via the Clarion Ledger.
Jones’ parents visited both Ole Miss and Mississippi State over the weekend in an effort to try and finalize a decision and help Jones make the best choice for his future.
Jones told the Clarion Ledger his father favors Ole Miss and has for a while, but his mother is in between the two schools.
“I love the coaching staff at Ole Miss,” Jones said. “Hugh Freeze is a great guy and more a mentor than a coach. I told him if he stopped coaching today he could go be a preacher. Ole Miss is a great school that can be a championship team under Hugh Freeze. They have a lot of big-time recruits coming in this year and the potential for the program is as good as anywhere. Ole Miss really showed me a lot, and I did not know they had this much to offer as a program, but really both schools are great.
“My dad loves Ole Miss and has for a while,” Jones said. “He likes Mississippi State too, but he favors Ole Miss over them. My mom told me after today she loved Ole Miss and that now she is in-between liking Mississippi State and Ole Miss.”
Something tells me that MSU has a big uphill battle to actually land Jones on National Signing Day, and his mind is already made up. But two days are like two weeks in recruiting, and neither team will give up at this point.
Jones is set to announce Wednesday sometime between 9:15 and 9:30 AM.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports