Brandon Jones received an important call from California on Sunday, the eve of Nacogdoches beginning organized football practices for the 2014 season.

The USC Trojans have given Jones (6-0, 190) his 28th unique college football scholarship offer. The highly-regarded junior announced the news via his personal Twitter account.

USC is hoping to get back to its perch on the top of the college football world with first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian. The new headman joined the program after serving as the University of Washington's head coach from 2008 through last season.

Sarkisian does have quite a bit of prior Trojan experience. He is beginning his third stint with the program. He served as USC's quarterbacks coach as the program ascended under Pete Carroll, coached quarterbacks for the Oakland Raiders in 2004 and then returned to Los Angeles in 2005 as the Trojans' offensive coordinator and associate head coach through 2007.

The new head coach also served as a backup quarterback at USC briefly. His best days were at Brigham Young in 1995 and 1996, however, after transferring from Los Angeles and spending his sophomore year at El Camino College. He played professionally for three seasons in the Canadian Football League.

USC has not hit on any East Texas recruits recently, and the program lost some ground in the Pac-12 during Lane Kiffin's tenure as its head coach. Arizona State, Stanford and Washington State are the three other teams from the Trojans' league that have offered Jones.

The USC program offered Class of 2015 defensive tackle Daylon Mack, but the big man opted to stay closer to home and has verbally pledged to join Texas A&M after his senior year at Gladewater.

Jones is the Trojans' first attempt in the region's 2016 class.

The safety will help make up a very good Nacogdoches defensive backfield. Senior cornerback Jaylon Lane, an Oklahoma State commit, is another widely recruited player in the same secondary.

Jones and Lane now hold 66 FBS scholarships combined and are the two most highly recruited players in their respective East Texas graduating classes.

The Dragons' defensive back riches don't end there. Junior safety Corey Lane, Jaylon Lane's younger brother, has an offer from Louisiana Tech.

Senior cornerback Tay Forest rounds out the starting secondary and is being eyed by several FCS programs.

Nacogdoches, a program on the rise after decades of disappointments, might have the toughest schedule in the entire East Texas region. Its players will definitely get to shine against outstanding competition on a week-by-week basis.

The Dragons begin the regular season against Kilgore at home. Kilgore reached the Class 3A Division I championship game last season.

Nacogdoches then takes on Hallsville and Carthage to wrap up the non-district slate. Carthage topped Kilgore for the 3A Division I crown.

The Dragons' District 16-5A schedule is one of the toughest in the entire state regardless of classification. It features John Tyler, Lufkin, Whitehouse, Lindale, Jacksonville, Ennis and Corsicana.


2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Travon Fuller, ATH, Athens, 6-0, 160 – committed to Texas A&M (1)
  • Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Baylor, Florida State, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Purdue, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, USC, Washington State (28)
  • Braylon Jones, DT, John Tyler, 6-3, 275 – offers from Air Force, Navy (2)
  • Corey Lane, S, Nacogdoches, 5-11, 185 – offer from Louisiana Tech (1)
  • Kendrick Rogers, WR, Frankston, 6-4, 185 — offer from North Texas, SMU (2)