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Brandon Jones to Texas: Longhorns Land 4-Star Safety Prospect

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2016

Photo credit: 247Sports

Brandon Jones, one of the nation's best defensive players, has boosted the 2016 recruiting class for Texas after reportedly committing to play football there.  

According to William Wilkerson of Scout.com, Jones made his decision official on Wednesday, even though it has been expected for a long time. 

Jones, the nation's top-ranked safety and 40th-ranked player overall by 247Sports, has been connected to Texas A&M throughout the recruiting process. He tweeted out the top 10 schools on his list with one of the best graphics for a high school player you will see:

On the 247Sports site, the Aggies were the only program to receive votes in the Crystal Ball predictions. Jones has drawn rave reviews for his ability in pass coverage, which you can see in this Vine video from the Rivals Camp Series:

Rivals Camp Series @RivalsCamp

#Elite50 1v1s are live! 2016 #Rivals100 DB Brandon Jones (@BlessedJones33) with a great pass breakup https://t.co/rUhN44s4Am

When you combine that anticipation with elite athleticism and plenty of room to fill out his frame, Jones has all the makings of an impact talent at the college level. ESPN.com's Recruiting Nation noted in a scouting report that his only weakness is a lack of experience in man-to-man coverage. 

Fortunately, Jones will have plenty of time to work on that early in his college career. High school safeties aren't often tasked with playing in single coverage, so it's not a substantial problem right now. Safeties continue to take on an increased role because of how the position can be used in run and pass defense. 

Stealing Jones away from rival Texas A&M is a huge coup for Texas and head coach Charlie Strong. The Longhorns are continuing to struggle in recruiting, owning the 19th-ranked class by 247Sports.

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It's understandable why Texas is going through a down period. The program hasn't been in the national title conversation since 2009 and has lost seven games in three of the last seven seasons. 

Getting a stud prospect like Jones allows Strong to build his recruiting class around him, both this year and for the future. Texas needs to show progress this season after going 11-14 under Strong the past two seasons. 

Jones is the kind of rare talent Texas needs to establish its defensive identity again. 

Jones is an elite player who has the ability to remake a defense on his own. He's going to be an integral part of the future for his new school. Every coach dreams of having a ball hawk who isn't afraid to attack the offense. 

Recruit star ratings and rankings via 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.

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