Two years ago, State fans thought Chris Jones was all sewn up. There were promises by recruiting analysts here and there that he wouldn't even visit another school, and then we all got hit in the face with a late night tweet from Ole Miss Scout writer Yancy Porter:
Just spotted 5-Star DE Chris Jones. He is in Oxford for his official visit to Ole Miss.— Yancy Porter (@YancyPorter) January 26, 2013
That tweet, despite it being sent out just after 1 a.m., would quickly turn Jones' recruitment into a firestorm that burned all the way into National Signing Day. For the loooong weeks following that night, there were countless reports, updates, "friend of a friend said"s, and so forth -- all weighing in on what people had heard about where Jones was going. It literally was a circus, but for the most part, one thing remained constant throughout the whole process:
No one knew where the hell Chris was going, not even Chris.
Sure, there were people who had been told things, but for the most part, people were guessing, projecting, and wishing to believe certain angles about where he would land. I lead off a story about a completely different recruit with that remembrance to remind everyone: in these circumstances, most everyone is completely guessing at where these guys are going. In that particular situation, Chris himself admits that he was near signing with Ole Miss right up to the pen hitting the paper.
Leo Lewis is like Jones in that he's been low-key during his recruitment. Lewis differs in that he's been more high profile for longer, but the way he's handled things has been exactly like Chris did two years ago. Despite that, in the day in age where everyone wants constant updates on everything right now, you have guys all over the internet dropping updates about where Lewis will go. "Was told he's going here"; "Heard from someone who would know that he's headed there". Of course most of these are fabricated, with some of the rest are half-truths; the remainder are constructed from "sources" which likely means a distant family member or high school classmate of Leo's told them something. Like most situations, there is likely one or two persons out there that know the truth, but they are so buried by the onslaught of guessers and fans that you can't tell what's real from what's not.
The point is that no one knows, ultimately, what Leo will decide today. He could pick LSU; he could pick MSU. He could very well recommit to Ole Miss for all we know; nothing would surprise me at this point. That's the nature of recruiting, and it's only made more prevalent by the fact that these are teenagers making life-altering decisions while the world watches and some try to influence. Some guys are more easy to predict than others, but with as quiet as Leo has been, it's truly difficult to tell.
With all that being said, why wouldn't I then turn around and throw my uneducated prediction into the ring? I feel okay in doing so since I'm telling you up front that I have no inside information. I can only make my prediction based off of what I've seen from 10,000 feet above the situation, mixed in with some unscientific guessing. From the time he de-committed from Alabama last year to the time he announced a finalist list of LSU and MSU Sunday, Mississippi State has been the constant. Leo made the first decision fresh off of a visit to MSU, and despite being on a visit to LSU when he left the Rebels class, MSU made the final cut. I know the sexy pick is for LSU -- and it could be for good reason -- but I'm sticking with MSU. I could, and likely will, be very wrong, but it just feels like this is heading towards Leo staying with the constant. And that constant is maroon and white.
Prediction: Mississippi State.
Lewis is set to announce his decision today at 10:30 at a ceremony at Brookhaven High School.