Wide receiver Cayleb Jones officially left the Texas Longhorns last week, seeking a fresh start after personal and legal troubles in Austin. Late Monday evening, he gave some concrete indications of where he might go next.
Jones posted on a list of eight schools he's considering on his Twitter account (h/t AL.com):
U of Airzona, UNC, UF, Colorado, ECU, UCLA, Clemson, Auburn. No order just interest thats all.— Cayleb Jones (@Cayleb_Jones4) July 29, 2013
few other interest. just gotta be patient. all in Gods hands— Cayleb Jones (@Cayleb_Jones4) July 29, 2013
Though Jones said he has a "few other interest(s)," it's safe to assume this is a working list of favorites. And it's quite the remarkable group of suitors.
For one thing, according to 247Sports, only three teams from that list offered Jones a scholarship in high school: East Carolina, Florida and North Carolina. The other five are new to Jones's consideration, but that doesn't necessarily make them less likely.
The list is also noteworthy for who DIDN'T make the cut. Arkansas and Baylor in particular are two schools who appeared to have a realistic shot at landing Jones. Arkansas assistant Randy Shannon coached Jones' father, Randy, with the Miami Dolphins. Baylor pursued Jones in high school and has only gotten better in the years since he committed to Texas.
But apparently Jones is impervious to their charms, adding a few new programs to his contemplation. Clemson jumps out as an interesting destination, especially given its pedigree of grooming receivers. If Sammy Watkins goes pro next season, the Tigers could use a high-upside piece like Jones in their pipeline.
Auburn, meanwhile, has hereditary bonds to the Jones family. Former Tiger Emory Blake, the leading receiver on Auburn's National Championship team from 2010, is Jones's cousin—and apparently, given this most recent development, he has had kind things to say about Gus Malzahn's offense.
UCLA came out of left field, but makes sense given the program's momentum. The Bruins are a hot transfer destination now that Jim Mora Jr. has the team winning, and they have already secured a commitment from former Notre Dame blue-chipper Eddie Vanderdoes.
Arizona appears to be another sleeper, especially given recent transfer developments. Connor Brewer, another redshirt freshman who left Texas this year, announced his decision to play in Tucson on Tuesday.
He sent out the following tweet, which was promptly re-tweeted by Jones:
I have committed to the University of Arizona! So excited to play for Coach Rodriguez! More great things to come for this program soon— Connor Brewer (@ConnorBrewer7) July 30, 2013
Is that a portent of things to come? Maybe. Maybe not. Only time will tell, and we still have very little information to go on.
But at least now, when we guess where Jones will play next season, we'll have a one-in-eight chance of being right.