Penn State, Ohio State + Stanford Reach Out To Nacogdoches Safety Brandon Jones
[Updated 3:00 p.m. CDT]
Things appear to be picking up for Brandon Jones once again after a 12-day gap between offer No. 17 and opportunity No. 18.
Penn State, Ohio State and Stanford have offered Nacogdoches' rising junior safety within a 24-hour span to become Jones' 18th, 19th and 20th college football options.
Penn State and Ohio State's scholarship opportunities give Jones five from the Big Ten Conference. He also has three Pac-12 choices with Stanford in the mix.
Penn State edged Ohio State by a few minutes Monday evening to become the promising player's 18th offer.
It's a program steadily recovering from heavy NCAA sanctions levied against it in 2012 and subsequent coaching turmoil. The Nittany Lions will be headed by James Franklin this season, the program's third head coach in a four-season span after Joe Paterno was fired in 2012 and Bill O'Brien left University Park, Penn., for the Houston Texans' head coaching job in early January.
Franklin wrapped up a three-year career at Vanderbilt with a 24-15 overall record and bowl appearances in each of his three seasons.
Considering the circumstances, O'Brien kept the Nittany Lions afloat and left a good set of players for Franklin. Penn State's defense ranked 48th in the FBS on the way to a 7-5 record, and the team will be definitely be eligible for bowl games by the time Jones enrolls at a college.
Ohio State, a perennial conference and national championship contender, offered Jones shortly after Penn State.
The Buckeyes won the Big Ten's Leaders Division in 2013 and finished the regular season as the No. 2 team in the country before falling in the Big Ten championship game and then again in the Orange Bowl.
Urban Meyer's 2014 team is expected to start out as a top 10 team in the polls.
The program has a very strong defensive history and finished last season No. 34 in total defense.
Penn State and Ohio State's scholarship opportunities add two more common offers between Jones and Nacogdoches teammate Jaylon Lane. Of the 21 schools interested in Jones, Lane owns 17 opportunities with the same schools.
Stanford finished its 2013 season with a 10-2 regular season record, the Pac-12 championship game title and a trip to the Rose Bowl. The university is among the top colleges in the nation academically.
Lane, an Oklahoma State commitment, and Jones will be staples in the Nacogdoches defensive backfield. They have combined for 56 offers.
Fellow Dragons safety Corey Lane holds one opportunity from Louisiana Tech while rising senior cornerback Tay Forest is currently fielding interest from FCS schools.
Jones recorded 95 tackles, five interceptions, one defensive touchdown and two special teams returns for scores in 2013. He was a ETSN.fm Football Super Team first-team selection after the stellar sophomore campaign.
2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Travon Fuller, ATH, Athens, 6-0, 160 – offer from Texas A&M (1)
- Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Arizona State, Baylor, Florida State, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Purdue, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Washington State (20)
- 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)