DeAndre Jones, the 6-foot, 225-pound three-star linebacker from University High School in Memphis, Tenn., just received his fourth scholarship offer on Tuesday, Dec. 11, when Vanderbilt finally offered him.
"Vanderbilt has a great academic program and I like how they are on the rise in the SEC," Jones said. "They are very dedicated to improving and getting better."
Besides the Commodores, Jones also has offers from Stanford, Michigan State and Kentucky and says he doesn't have a leader from those final four.
"I'm going to take all my visits and just pray about it," he said. "I'll go wherever God wants me to go."
Jones has already taken official visits to Stanford on Sept. 15 and Kentucky on Dec. 1. "The campus at Stanford is beautiful," he said. "The weather there is just perfect. It's not too hot or too cold. All I needed was a hoodie at night.
"I'm also friends with (Cardinal senior linebacker) Peter Griffin and we've been text messaging each other a lot this season," he said. "I got to know him because somehow our mom's know each other. We talk a lot about recruiting and he told me to not let it stress me out and just have fun with everything. But he also said that Stanford is real serious about academics and to not let my grades suffer."
As much as Jones enjoyed his trip out west, he admits it was nice to have a short flight to Kentucky. "The flight was the biggest difference between my two trips," he said. "Kentucky is pretty close and it's just the South. The people are like how they are in Tennessee and it was really cool to get to meet the players that I see on TV every week.
"Kentucky really reminded me of home," he said. "I got along great with the players and the coaches. They are good people and it was cool because we had breakfast at coach Rich Brooks' house. It was fun because we just hung out and played ping pong. It was real relaxed and comfortable. Coach Brooks says that I'll definitely play linebacker in college and that I'd have a good chance to come in and play early for them."
So how big of a factor will distance be? "It's hard to say because you want to stay close to home and be near your family," he said. "But it's college and you want to get away and be on your own too. I know that I'd get homesick if I went away, but that's normal so I'm not sure if it'll matter."
One thing that will matter to Jones is taking visits to both Vanderbilt and Michigan State, even if that delays his decision until January (he previously stated he planned to commit before Christmas). "I really want to get out to Michigan State and see how I get along with the players and coaches there," he said. "They are an up-and-coming program too and I think I could help out. Also they have a good mechanical engineering program and I really want to talk to some of the professors there."
Jones, ranked as the No. 36 weakside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, is an excellent student and has a 4.0 core GPA and an 1160 two-part SAT.