Alabama received the commitment from five-star safety, Laurence “Hootie” Jones (Monroe, La. Neville) to bolster their No. 1 recruiting class while taking another elite prospect out of the backyard of SEC rival LSU.
The top 30 recruit, No. 3 safety and No. 6 prospect in the Pelican State was once thought to be an LSU lock all summer long, but the tide began to shift to the Crimson Tide in late August. That was when Alabama received commitments from fellow northern Louisiana prospects, Cameron Sims and Cameron Robinson, from Quachita Parish and West Monroe high school respectively.
The two are good friends with the 6-foot-2, 214-pound safety and after they committed on August 24 and September 4, the in-state program has been unable to regain momentum. They tried to stem the tide when Jones took his official visit to LSU when they beat Texas A&M, but it didn’t go as swimmingly as they needed.
LSU’s last-ditched efforts to land the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and 2014 Under Armour All-American game selection hinged on an in-home visit that Les Miles took to Jones’ home, but his heart was set on playing for Alabama. In particular, Jones had his heart on playing for Nick Saban, who would be his position coach and has produced a number of high draft picks in the secondary, including potential first-rounder Ha Ha Clinton-Dix this season.
Jones will enroll in January and take part in spring practice, where he could fill Clinton-Dix’s vacant spot in the secondary. If Jones is able to earn a starting spot this year or even the next, he will be starting alongside another former Louisiana All-American and LSU target Landon Collins.
The addition of Jones puts more distance between Alabama and No. 2 Texas A&M for the top class in 2014, according to 247Sports. Alabama gets better with the addition of Jones and once again beats LSU.
Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and Google and email him at SchmidtPatrick@gmail.com for media inquiries.