Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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June 11, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Early commitment

AHS linebacker Chris Jefferson verbally picks SMU Mustangs

Athens — The first member of the 2014 Athens High School class announced his college commitment over the weekend.

Chris Jefferson, a 6-3, 210-pound outside linebacker, who will be a senior  in the fall,  has verbally committed to play football for Coach June Jones and the SMU Mustangs.

“It was kind of important because I wanted to make sure that I made my choice now,” Jefferson said. “I told my parents that they (SMU) came after me pretty intense. It felt good and my parents felt good with this commitment for college.”

Jefferson made the switch from safety to outside linebacker and finished his junior campaign with 23 tackles, one sack and one interception for head coach Paul Essary.

“He was offered two-or-three weeks ago,” Essary said. “He told me he really wanted to go there but he went ahead and went to the campus last Saturday with his parents and that is when he made the decision.”

Essary said Jefferson will feel right at home if he stays with SMU next fall.

“He will fit in good there because they run the same type of defense that we run here at Athens,” Essary said.

Jefferson said with one final year for the Hornets, he plans on getting stronger and getting his mind ready for the next level.

“I want to make sure that I have a great mind set and I don’t want to think it is going to be easy,” Jefferson said. “Every day I want to get better and I want to make an impact whenever I can when I get to college.”

Jefferson said he will continue to look at other options since Tulsa was another school that showed interest in him.

“I will look at more options but SMU is really solid at the moment,” Jefferson said. “Most likely, I will stay with SMU and play for them.”

Essary said he expects to see good things out of Jefferson in 2013.

“He still needs to have a good year and we need to have a great year,” Essary said. “He is still mine for another year and SMU does not get him for another 12 months.”

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