Sam Jones knows his research is incomplete. The three-star tackle has other schools to visit and plenty of options to weigh. So when he names the programs that currently lead his recruitment, it comes with a disclaimer of sorts.
He has two at the top, sure. But he also has the right to change his mind. He makes the last part clear as he reveals the frontrunners.
"I'm leaning toward Arizona State and Oregon," Jones said on Monday night. "I like [Colorado State], too. I obviously haven't been to Kansas State yet or Washington or Cal, so I want to get up there to see how I like those, but that's kind of where I'm at right now."
Jones holds 10 offers in total and has done plenty of research on each program. He won't rule any school out, though, until he sees it in person. So as he continues to travel, his pecking order may change. The main concern these days is finding time to hit the road.
"I've been trying to figure out a time to get up to K-State," Jones said. "I want to check out Washington and Cal, too. I don't have any dates set yet but I want to get to them at some point."
A rising senior at Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Thunderridge High School, Jones plans to minimize the recruiting hoopla before the upcoming season. He does not expect to make a verbal commitment prior to his first game but does intend to narrow his focus significantly.
"I think I am going to trim it down to two or three before my season and then take some officials," he said. "I'll have a top two or three before I start playing."
The factors that will play into Jones' decision are many. He's not particularly concerned with playing time. Nor does he have one factor that stands above the rest. Instead, he's looking at the big picture - how things blend together. He's short on specifics but long on detail.
"There isn't any one thing, I don't think," Jones said. "It's going to be the best mix of coaches and faculties and tradition. There's a lot that goes into it. I'm thinking about majoring in business, and pretty much every school has a decent business school. So that's not a huge factor."
As a junior, Jones helped ThunderRidge to an 11-2 overall record and an appearance in the Colorado 5A state semifinals.