With 144 tackles and 19 sacks as a junior, North Pike (Miss.) defensive end A.J. Jefferson was easily one of the top defensive playmakers in the Magnolia State. Looking ahead to the next level, the 6-foot-4 and 230-pound Jefferson is "leaning" to keeping his talents in the state.
Jefferson currently owns offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Memphis, Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette.
"I really don't have a time frame right now for deciding and I can't say that I have a definite leader," said Jefferson. "But the three in-state schools are sticking out to me and I am leaning towards staying in the state. Other than that, I am just looking for a winning program and a good coaching staff. I am also looking for coaches that will be there for most of my college career."
Due to other athletic duties, Jefferson said he was looking forward to a bit more hitting in spring ball. That process started up a bit more over the past week.
"We've mainly done a lot of 7-on-7 work this spring," said Jefferson. "We just had basketball tryouts so I missed some time there with spring football. But we've been lifting weights and started hitting some. I haven't done that much defensive work just yet and I have mostly been playing tight end in 7-on-7 work."
Jefferson added that several schools have paid him a visit this spring and noted of his summer plans.
"I saw several schools this spring and that was a good thing," said Jefferson. "Tulane, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, LSU, Troy, Louisian Tech, Memphis and ULL have all been there. And for this summer, I have a couple of plans. I want to go to the three in-state camps and then also try to go to Tulane, Tennessee and LSU."
And concerning those three in-state schools, Jefferson said he enjoys the feedback he is receiving from MSU, Ole Miss and Southern Miss.
"Everything is still about the same with those schools," said Jefferson. "Mississippi State has been on me for awhile now and Ole Miss and Southern Miss have, too, All of those schools have good programs and good coaching staffs.
"I talked to Coach (Chris) Wilson of Mississippi State the other day and I call him some. Our talks always go pretty good and I believe he is a pretty good coach. The last time we talked it was about the whole recruiting breakdown. He told me that me and (Aberdeen junior) Channing Ward were his main two priorities in the state at our position. So it felt good hearing that from an SEC school."