Five-star safety Chad Jones (6-3, 232, 4.5), from Southern University Lab School in Baton Rouge (La.), continues to name USC (Dec. 15 official visit) and LSU (Jan. 26) as his big leaders. Florida State, Florida and Miami are also slightly in the running. All have offered.
"I like USC's football program," said Jones, Scout.com's No. 4 safety. "I like the school and the coaches. I have good relationships with the coaches. Ken Norton Jr. (linebackers) is real energetic. I get along with him well. I can talk to him about anything. I visited the stadium and dorm rooms. It's a big school. My host, 'T-Will', took me around town. It's a nice city.
"I'm visiting LSU on Jan. 26," Jones said. "I like Coach (Les) Miles. He's cool. And I would like to play with my brother, Rahim Alem (defensive end).
I was camp MVP when I attended their camp. It's a big school and only 15 minutes away from home. I know a lot of people there. I have friends that go there. I also know my brother's friends. They want me as a free safety. The coaches also said that I can play wide receiver, kick returner and punt returner.
"LSU and USC are equal," Jones said. "They both have a 50% chance of getting me.
"But I also have official visits with Florida, Florida State and Miami. I just want to see all three schools before deciding. Maybe they might change my mind. My visit with Florida State will be Jan. 12. Florida will be Jan. 19. Miami, I'm not sure. I can see myself playing at any of the schools. You never know what can happen until you see it.
"On Signing Day (Feb. 6), I will have a press conference at my high school," Jones said. "When everyone watches me on television, everyone will know then. I am not going to announce my commitment until Signing Day."
Jones says he can play both defense and offense. "I prefer defense. When I'm playing defense, I know how to get the ball," Jones said. "I know how to dodge blockers and be in the area where the ball is thrown. I have vision. I can see what part of the field that will be open. I am a big playmaker. A big play will happen when I get the ball."
Southern University finished 11-3, losing in the semifinals. Jones had 120 tackles, 12 interceptions (6 for scores), 3 forced fumbles and 11 offensive touchdowns.
Jones reports a 2.5 core GPA and 24 ACT.