MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Four-star Channing Ward gets a lot of attention and for good reason. The four-star is one of the most highly-recruited defenders in the country. But on Team Mississippi in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic, it’s hard to tell Ward apart from AJ Jefferson on the other side of the defensive line.
Both Jefferson and Ward have very similar size, strength and athleticism and though Ward may have gotten more of the headlines up until now, Jefferson is showing that he is worthy of some attention as well.
On the recruiting front, Jefferson has already narrowed down his lists of schools to a focused five and he is not straying far from his hometown of Summit, Miss.
“Right now I’m looking at Southern Miss, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech and UL,” Jefferson said after Tuesday’s practice.
Jefferson has yet to take any official visits but he does have some planned.
“I’m going to Louisiana Tech the first weekend in January, Southern Miss sometime and then Mississippi State and Ole Miss in January,” he said. “I’m also supposed to have a visit coming up at the end of December but I can’t remember with who.”
While he doesn’t have his visits memorized, he does know exactly what he’s looking for when he considers these programs: playing time.
“Having a chance to come in and compete and play early [is most important],” he said.
Jefferson went on to list Southern Miss, Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech as the programs that offer him the most opportunity for that early playing time. However, he wouldn’t go so far as to name any favorites.
Jefferson said that he doesn’t plan on committing until all of his visits are in the books. With a visit to Southern Miss scheduled at the end of January, that decision may not come until National Signing Day.
At 6-3, 240 pounds, Jefferson is the No. 26 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 7 prospect in the state of Mississippi.