Loyalty Wins Out for Chris Jones, Signs with Mississippi State

By Patrick Schmidt
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The recruiting war for Mississippi State commit Chris Jones (Houston, Ms, Houston) and Ole Miss reached  a fever pitch this past weekend when Jones visited both schools and had folks at Starkville holding their breath hoping they could hang onto their crown jewel of their class.

After so much drama surrounding Jones, he remained committed to State and showed the loyalty and commitment to the school that first showed an interest in him.

Jones is the No. 46 ranked player according to ESPN, but has been ranked as high as No. 2 according to 247sports.com. Mississippi State was among the first to offer Jones a scholarship and he committed to Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs this past June, but has received increased attention as a result of his dominating play along the defensive line for the small school in Chickasaw County in northeast Mississippi.

Florida tried to schedule Jones for a visit in January, but he declined saying he wasn’t interested in joining the Gators and didn’t want to waste their time, and confirmed his commitment to Mississippi State. However, after an official visit to in-state rival Ole Miss and some additional secret visits to Oxford, the momentum began to swing in favor the Rebels.

I thought the internet was going to shut down with the barbs and trash talk between the two fan bases in the Magnolia State and Jones reportedly received death threats as a result of his flirtation between the two schools.

Rivalries are what make college football the greatest sport in the world and the rivalry between the two schools in the Deep South are among the best.

All along Jones has maintained that even if he goes on other visits it wouldn’t change his commitment to Mississippi State, but teenagers are known to change their minds, and heading into his decision I gave State a slight edge for Jones because they were with him from the start and Ole Miss was late to the party.

State absolutely needed to hang onto their crown jewel of their recruiting class and couldn’t fall behind Ole Miss any more who has been the big winner so far on national signing day and bolster a top-six class that could move into the top five by the end of the day.

Look for Jones to earn a starting position at one of the two defensive end positions and continue his rapid development and become one of the premier defenders in the SEC.

Jones is the first big player that Hugh Freeze was unable to convince to attend Ole Miss and gives Mississippi State a little momentum into the rest of signing day as they hope to get a commitment from No. 4 cornerback Mackensie Alexander (Immokalee, Fl., Immokalee).

The 6-6 250-pound defensive end has been a fast riser during his senior season that saw Jones drop 40 pounds and go from a two-star prospect to an elite blue-chip five-star prospect. In his senior season, Jones had a ridiculous 160 tackles, 45 of them going for a loss and 14 sacks.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is the host of “The Wake-up Call,” on Sportstownchicago.com airing Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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