South Carolina Offers Nacogdoches Safety Brandon Jones
Recruiting updates on Brandon Jones used to come day after day. But the senior Nacogdoches safety saturated every major college football conference, intermediate teams threw in the towel and it's been nearly a half year since a new school entered the picture.
South Carolina, under brand new head coach Will Muschamp, snapped the quiet streak Monday evening by offering the blue chip prospect. Jones announced the scholarship opportunity through his personal Twitter account.
It's his East Texas-leading 41st FBS invitation.
Is it too late though?
Jones (6-0, 190) announced a top six list of Alabama, Baylor, LSU, Oregon, Texas and Texas A&M before the 2015 season started.
Muschamp's presence in Columbia, S.C., could give the safety a little more to think about before inking with a university on Feb. 3, National Signing Day. The new coach has a long and successful track record as a defensive coordinator. His defenses weren't shabby when he served as Florida's head coach from 2011 through 2014, either.
Furthermore, the Gamecocks' leader has some familiarity with Jones. The safety's 40th FBS offer -- granted July 17 -- came from a Muschamp-coached Auburn defense.
Muschamp played safety for Georgia between 1991 and 1994 before beginning his coaching career with early stints at Auburn as a graduate assistant then West Georgia, Eastern Kentucky and Valdosta State as those programs' defensive backs coach. He also rose to hold his first defensive coordinator opportunity with Valdosta State.
Nick Saban pulled Muschamp back into the SEC as a full-time coach in 2001 at LSU and then took him to the Miami Dolphins for the 2005 season as a junior-ranking defensive coordinator and associate head coach.
Muschamp jumped back to Auburn in 2006 as defensive coordinator and then was lured to Texas in 2008 under the pretense he would become succeed Mack Brown whenever Brown retired. Brown enjoyed two of his best seasons with Texas during Muschamp's three-year tenure, so Muschamp left to become the head coach at Florida ahead of the 2011 season.
At Florida, Muschamp compiled a 28-21 record with a Gator Bowl appearance in 2011, a Sugar Bowl appearance in 2012 and a post-career Birmingham Bowl appearance in 2014. A 6-5 regular season in 2014 cost Muschamp his job.
Muschamp returned to Auburn as its defensive coordinator for the 2015 season, helping to guide that program to a 6-6 record regular season before being hired away by South Carolina on Dec. 6. Auburn won the Birmingham Bowl against Memphis in Muschamp's absence.
Jones' technical high school career ended Saturday in the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla. The exhibition was aired on ESPN2.
The safety turned in strong sophomore and senior years at Nacogdoches under head coach Bobby Reyes. His junior year was derailed by a knee injury midway through the campaign, but he managed to play in four late-season games to help the school reach a second straight playoff appearance for the first time in more than a decade.
Nacogdoches finished the past season in a three-team tie for fourth place in District 16-5A and lost the head-to-head score tiebreaker. Jones and company put together a three-game winning streak following a 1-5 start before John Tyler, the league champions, took it down by 12 points on the final night of the regular season.
Jones wrapped up his official senior year with 135 total tackles, 19 tackles for loss, two interceptions and one forced fumble through Nacogdoches' 10 games.
TexAgs.com, a media entity covering Texas A&M, will release a senior year documentary called "On the Island" about Jones in the near future.
2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Austin Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-4, 289 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Riley Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-5, 287 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Demarco Boyd, RB/LB, Gilmer, 6-0, 215 — signed with Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Florida State, Texas A&M (4)
- Gabe Foster, RB/DB, Newton, 6-3, 180 — offers from Arkansas State, Purdue, Texas State, ULL, ULM (5)
- Ke’Mon Freeman, QB/ATH, Liberty-Eylau, 5-11, 188 – offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, SMU (3)
- Travon Fuller, CB, Athens, 6-0, 160 — committed to Texas A&M (1)
- Alex Gregory, WR, Nacogdoches, 5-11, 175 — committed to Stephen F. Austin; additional offers from Texas State, ULM (2)
- Zach Hall, ATH, Tyler Lee, 5-11, 170 – offers from Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech, ULM (4)
- La’Darius Hamilton, LB, Corrigan-Camden, 6-1, 220 — offers from Texas State, ULL (2)
- Adrian Harris, OL, John Tyler, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
- Tanner Holmes, LB, Newton, 6-3, 220 — committed to ULL (1)
- Jerrod Johnson, OL, Lufkin, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
- Keenen Johnson, ATH, Alto, 6-1, 190 – committed to Tulsa; additional offers from North Texas, SMU, ULL (4)
- Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, California, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, SMU, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Washington State (41)
- Braylon Jones, DT, John Tyler, 6-3, 285 – committed to Houston; additional offers from Air Force, Army, Colorado State, Navy (5)
- Corey Lane, S, 5-11, 185 – offer from Louisiana Tech (1)
- Bronson Massie, DE/LB, Lufkin 6-3, 202 – committed to Kansas State; additional offers from California, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, Washington (6)
- Jarrod McLin, DE, Carthage, 6-4, 212 – committed to UTSA; additional offer from ULL (2)
- Denzel Mims, WR, Daingerfield, 6-4, 180 – committed to Baylor; additional offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa (6)
- Cody Mitchell, TE, Jasper, 6-5, 225 — committed to ULL; additional offers from Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Texas State, (5)
- Jordan Morales, DL, Tyler Bishop Gorman, 6-3, 275 – offer from UTEP (1)
- Reshawn Parker, RB, Hooks, 6-1, 210 -- offer from Oklahoma State (1)
- Kendrick Rogers, WR, Frankston, 6-6, 207 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Mississippi State, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM (11)
- Micahh Smith, DB, Marshall, 5-11, 185 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Aphonso Thomas, RB, Van, 5-10, 180 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Colorado State, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, SMU, Texas State (6)
- Jeremy West, OL/DL, Chapel Hill, 6-2, 297 — committed to Northwestern State; additional offer from ULL (1)
- Andre Wiley Jr., OLB/S, Liberty-Eylau, 5-10, 170 – offers from Arkansas State, Army, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Texas State, Wyoming (6)