Sometimes in college football recruiting, teams accept commitments from players, even if they know they don’t have a great chance of actually signing them. It’s a fairly common practice, and it’s basically just playing a numbers game. If you accept enough kids that you probably won’t hold on to, a few of them may stick, despite the odds being against it. That’s what Oklahoma was hoping for when Mississippi safety Jarrian Jones committed in April. Unfortunately, their fortune didn’t last, and yesterday, Jones flipped his commitment to Mississippi State.
THE JONES FILE
The loss of Jones drops Oklahoma to 11 verbals in 2019. Their class is still one of the best in the country, sitting at third, just behind Alabama and Texas A&M, both of which hold at least two more commitments. This commitment does hurt Oklahoma’s efforts recruiting safeties, at least a bit. They want at least two in 2019, and with Jamal Morris already in, Jones completed the class. However, with this decommitment, Oklahoma has to find a new safety for the class. Daxton Hill is the first name that comes to mind, but Jalen Catalon and Jalani Williams will get consideration as well.
This decommitment, as I said, isn’t really surprising by any means. It’s extremely difficult to pull top players out of the deep south, and there may not be a state with a stronger border than Mississippi. The top players in the state almost never leave the SEC, and more often than not, they head to either Ole Miss or Mississippi State.
Flowood, Jones’ home town, is just two hours from Starkville, while being more than eight to Norman. Oklahoma will find another safety, and Jones will likey be more comfortable close to home. Ultimately, this is a good thing for both parties, and neither will be too hung up on what was a pretty obvious conclusion.