• December 21, 2014

Jefferson switches commitment from A&M to Baylor

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Posted: Friday, March 23, 2012 4:44 am

Football was the last thing on Johnny Jefferson's mind.

It was his grandmother that actually brought it up.

"I remember you talking all this, about how you wish you could do this in the NFL and I know I can see you doing that," his grandmother told him. "I'm just happy if you're happy. If you're not happy, that's your fault. "You going on with your life not being happy because everybody else wanted you to do something is all on you. It's nobody else's fault."

And that made the Shoemaker junior running back think about his quick commitment to Texas A&M. So, with an open mind, Jefferson made official visits to TCU and Baylor.

Wednesday evening, Jefferson officially decommitted from A&M and then Thursday morning committed to Baylor.

"I did stuff wrong the first time," Jefferson said, "but this time, I looked around, I compared, I contrasted, I'd seen everything. Now, my mind's made up for sure. No doubt that I'm going to stay with Baylor until the time comes to sign in February."

Jefferson attended Baylor's annual Pro Day Wednesday and later that evening, reports began to surface that the Rivals.com three-star recruit had pulled his commitment to the Aggies. Shoemaker coach Channon Hall confirmed the decommitment late Wednesday night.

"I think he kind of made this one on his own to make sure that it was right," Hall said. "I told him, at the end of the day, you have to be there four years.

"He couldn't go wrong. You pick A&M, you pick Baylor, you pick TCU — they're all D-I, they're all great colleges in Texas, they all have a great coaching staff, so he couldn't go wrong. But, he has to feel at home for four years."

And Baylor felt more like home than A&M.

The Bears' offense seemed a better fit for Jefferson than A&M's and Baylor coaches reminded him of his coaches at Shoemaker. Even the Aggies' move to the Southeastern Conference — where Jefferson's always dreamed of playing — seemed less significant after his dad put it into perspective.

"He was like, 'If you're going to be a great player, you're going to be a great player wherever you go'," Jefferson said. "If I'm not a great player at the next level, that's my fault and nobody else's fault, that means my work ethic wasn't good enough. If I'm going to be good, I'm going to be good in the Big 12, the Big 10, wherever I go."

But why commit to Baylor so early?

"I think somebody like him probably needs to be committed early," Hall said. "I think he kind of knew where he wanted to go. I think these schools have always been in his window of opportunity. I think seeing them, what is there to see? There's nothing else for him to see. All there is now for him is to just play and I think he's ready to play."

When Jefferson, who runs a 4.45-second 40-yard dash and rushed for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, committed to A&M on Feb. 18, the Aggies were just one of three schools that had offered him a scholarship. According to rivals, Jefferson currently has standing offers from Houston, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA in addition to A&M and TCU.

"You've always got the coaches who are going to tell you how they're better than the college you're committed to. But, it all boils down to how you feel and can you see yourself being at that school four years," Jefferson said. "Can you see yourself there without football because you never know, something could happen and you can't be in football. It all comes down to how you feel about the whole situation."

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