North Pike (Miss.) High School rising senior A.J. Jefferson was one of the top defenders in the state last year and totaled 144 tackles, including 19 sacks and six forced fumbles. This offseason, the 6-foot-4 and 240-pound defensive end prospect is doing his best to get the most out of his camp visits.
"It really helps you to improve your game and then that helps your team," said Jefferson. "Getting to practice under college coaches is always a good thing. And in recruiting, it helps to see those coaches and see what kind of personalities and coaching styles they have. Then it helps to see all those campuses and check out the atmospheres with these programs."
Jefferson currently owns offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Memphis and Louisiana-Lafayette. having already camped at a couple of places, Jefferson will take to the road again next month.
"I went to Louisiana-Lafayette's camp this month and that's been the only one since I went to Mississippi State," said Jefferson. "I liked it a lot and it was good. They have a good campus, nice facilities and their coaches are cool.
"But things are going to be pretty busy next month. I am going to Southern Miss on the 16th, LSU on the 18th and then I am going to Mississippi State on the 22nd for Big Dawg Camp and then going to Ole Miss the following day."
Since the spring, Jefferson said he favors to stay in the state for his college playing days. And that stance has not changed of late although Jefferson has yet to name a definite leader in his recruitment.
"I like the fact that Mississippi State and Ole Miss are in the SEC," said Jefferson. "I like all of their coaches. I also like Southern Miss and their coaches and all of these schools have their pros and cons. I don't really want to single anyone out right now and I am looking at all of them."
And picking a school from that group, said Jefferson, could be right down the road this summer.
"I am leaning towards making my decision before the summer is out or sometime in August," said Jefferson. "I want to go somewhere that has a winning program and a program that is kinda close to home. And that's about it."