Jones Jr. switches from being a Tiger to a Ti-gah

LSU, which signed three linebackers in December, turned to the NCAA transfer portal to address its void and received a commitment Wednesday from Clemson’s Mike Jones Jr. who announced his decision on social media.

“Make your next move your best move ! @LSUfootball,” Jones released on his Twitter account.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Jones, who entered the NCAA transfer portal Jan. 25, will be immediately eligible to play for LSU this season and could have up to three years of eligibility remaining.

He’s the 24th member of LSU’s Class of 2021 which ranks third nationally by both 247Sports and Rivals.com.

LSU’s scheduled to return two of its leading tacklers in seniors Micah Baskerville and Damone Clark, while sophomores Josh White and Antoine Sampah both received limited playing time in 2020.

The addition of Navonteque “Bug” Strong, a former Mississippi State commitment, provided the Tigers with a big lift on signing day, signing the nation’s top-rated junior college linebacker from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

The addition of Jones helps LSU soften the loss of senior linebacker Jabril Cox, a projected second-day selection in the NFL’s annual draft.

Jones started in seven of 28 career games at Clemson where he registered 52 tackles, eight of which were for loss, to go with five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions.

He took over for Clemson’s All-American Isaiah Simmons and played the team’s nickel/strong-side linebacker spot where he started in seven of 10 games in 2020. He had 30 tackles, four for loss, and intercepted two passes including one against Ohio State in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

Jones was named by Pro Football Focus to its All-ACC second team. He had a career-high eight tackles against Virginia Tech last season.

Jones was a redshirt freshman during the 2019 season when Clemson lost to LSU, 42-25, in the national championship game in New Orleans. He played in the game but didn’t record any statistics.

He finished with 19 tackles, four for loss, during his redshirt freshman season.

Jones, the son of former N.C. State standout and second-round NFL draft pick Mike Jones, spent his final two seasons playing his high school football at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. after transferring from Lebanon, Tenn. He was a four-star prospect, the nation’s No. 210 overall player and No. 10 outside linebacker according to ESPN.com, helping IMG to a No. 2 national ranking and 9-0 record his senior year and also played in the Under Armour All-American Game.

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