HOUSTON, Texas -- In a strong group of defensive backs at the Houston NIke Football Training Camp held recently at the Kinkaid School, 2016 Nacogdoches safety Brandon Jones was able to hold his own.
That's hardly a surprise, as Jones is quickly becoming of the most highly-recruited prospects in his class -- he already holds offers from Baylor, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Washington State.
With the spring evaluation period beginning, expect that number to rise as more schools have the chance to see Jones work in person.
Despite his young age, Jones already has an advanced perspective on the recruiting process.
"It's great just to now that at a young age as a sophomore, schools are already interested in me," he said. "It makes my sophomore year that much better just to enjoy, so I can focus more on school and friends before my junior and senior years come along, when I'll have to really nail down on recruiting."
Still, there were some offers that shocked him when they came in -- Texas A&M, Notre Dame and LSU were all pleasant surprises for him.
He grew up as a fan of Ohio State and Texas.
Jones said he always picked the Buckeyes as his team of choice when playing NCAA Football on the PlayStation 2 since they were consistently one of the best teams in the game.
As for the home-state Longhorns, the appeal was a bit different.
"Just because I live in Texas and it's a really good school," he said. "They usually have a productive season."
This summer, he has trips planned to Notre Dame, Florida State and perhaps Texas with teammate Jaylon Lane, himself a rising cornerback in the 2015 class.
Right now, Jones doesn't know a lot about the Fighting Irish, but he has noticed their improvement under head coach Brian Kelly, in particular the young players who have had success there.
He's also already building a strong relationship with Florida State tight ends coach Tim Brewster, who has made a career of recruiting the Lone Star State. The recent national championship and desirable Florida weather also stand out to him.
Even though Jones has a remarkable number of offers for how early it is in the process, he's still looking to hear from Alabama, Michigan and Oregon.
On film, college coaches have said that they like the speed of Jones and his ability to close on the football from his safety position, as well as his hands, which allow him to finish plays with interceptions. Jones said that all of them are mentioning early playing time as a possibility even though he still has two years left of high school, so he's hoping to see the field quickly once he does reach college.
And, as a sophomore about to enter his junior season, Jones does still recognize that he has areas for improvement. At the Houston NFTC, the Nacogdoches product had extensive opportunities to work in man coverage in one-on-one drills, a skill that he hopes to continue to hone. This fall, he should have a chance to do so, as his high school coaches have told him that he will spend more time playing man.
If Jones does keep improving and perhaps even prove that he can play some cornerback, his offer list should be one of the most impressive in the country for his class by the time that National Signing Day 2016 rolls around.