Alabama beat out longtime rival LSU in the race to secure a commitment from 5-star safety prospect Laurence Jones. The Neville High School (Monroe, La.) senior selected the Crimson Tide during an announcement ceremony Monday morning.
Jones, a coveted 6'2", 214-pound playmaker, enjoyed a whirlwind recruiting process. He garnered interest from programs across the country, but his decision ultimately came down to the pair of SEC foes.
Alabama and LSU emerged as front-runners for Jones during the final stretch of a nationwide recruitment. His other offers included Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.
He is the latest Louisiana standout to create a pact with Nick Saban and the two-time defending national champions. Alabama's 23-player recruiting class features four Louisiana products, including fellow 5-star prospect Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La.).
Robinson, the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle, was in attendance for Jones' announcement. Four-star wide receiver Cameron Sims (Monroe, La.), another Alabama commit, also attended.
LSU must accept another recruiting defeat to the Tide on its home turf. Louisiana is loaded with elite talent this year, including six 5-star prospects and 11 4-star prospects, per 247Sports rankings.
With a commitment from Jones, Alabama has landed three of the state's top-10 recruits. Saban remains in the hunt for 5-star Louisiana targets Leonard Fournette (running back; New Orleans), Malachi Dupre (wide receiver; New Orleans) and Gerald Willis (defensive tackle; New Orleans).
LSU must quickly regroup and search for a replacement atop its defensive back list. The Tigers are heavily involved with several premier prospects at multiple positions.
Jamal Adams, a 5-star safety from Carrollton, Texas, spent an unofficial visit in Baton Rouge last weekend. He is also considering Texas, Florida, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.
LSU is searching for more secondary help in the Lone Star State. Five-star cornerback recruit Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas) has visited campus three times this season, and the Tigers are viewed as leaders in a pack that also features Florida State, Texas, Alabama and Ohio State.
Still, a swing and miss for one of Louisiana's top players stings in Baton Rouge. The frustration increases exponentially with Jones destined for Alabama.