- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
Kilgore College cornerback James Jones considered the possibility of going back to his hometown of Houston. But North Texas blew him away.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound prospect took an official visit to North Texas on Thursday, returned home on Friday and gave the Mean Green his pledge.
Jones, who played his high school ball at Houston Eisenhower, chose the Mean Green over offers from Houston, Mississippi State, New Mexico and Troy.
"It's a great impression on me, because everybody knew who I was, even the trainers," Jones said. "They had a meeting room where they showed my film, and I got a chance to meet everybody, including the athletic director. It's a big family feel there. I love that."
He will come in to compete for a starting spot right away at cornerback and will return punts for the Mean Green. It also gives him a chance to continue developing on and off the field.
"I'm coming in to play right away," Jones said. "That was very important. I'm originally from Houston, went to Eisenhower. UH is kind of too close. I want to go somewhere where I can be on my own more. Even though I was on my own at Kilgore in East Texas, now I can be on my own at a university."
Recruited by safeties coach Noah Joseph and defensive coordinator John Skladany, Jones really liked the atmosphere he felt while on campus. North Texas was his second official visit -- he took one to Troy on the weekend of Dec. 7. He had one planned for Houston but has canceled it.
He'll have two years of eligibility left and two to play them and will sign with the Mean Green on Dec. 19, enrolling in time for the spring semester.
"It's like a brotherhood there," Jones said "And it's a great school, also."
546dSam Khan Jr. and Max Olson