February 25, 2011

Jefferson watching stock skyrocket

Summit (North Pike), Miss., defensive end A.J. Jefferson believed he was a good football player.

But only after he picked up scholarship offers from Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi did he allow himself to truly embrace the idea that he might one day play big-time college football.

"It made me want to work harder," Jefferson said. "It was exciting. I never thought it would happen."

Jefferson, a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder who recorded 144 tackles, 19 sacks, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a junior, said he's also receiving heavy interest from Tennessee, Nebraska, TCU, Stanford and Ole Miss. He plans to visit Hattiesburg this weekend for the Golden Eagles' junior day before heading to Oxford in early April to check out the Rebels.

Jefferson attended Mississippi State's junior day earlier this month.

"I liked their weight room," Jefferson said. "The coaches were more concerned about my education. That was a big plus."

As for the Rebels, Jefferson said he hopes "to find out a lot more about their football program. I want to get to know more about the program. I am going to try to make it."

Jefferson said he's in no hurry to make a decision.

"I'm wide open right now," Jefferson said. "I want to wait and see how things go. I'd like to be in the state of Mississippi and get early playing time. I really don't have a preference right now."

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