Early Friday morning, Mesquite Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson will change the trajectory of a college program when he makes his commitment days ahead of enrolling early at the school of his choice.
The Texas Longhorns may well be that school, as Jefferson has chosen to wear the colors of each of his three finalists before his decision, with burnt orange his first choice on Tuesday:
After an official visit to UCLA last weekend, the Bruins could be his third choice. Or it could be Baylor. But Texas A&M will certainly be one of his other outfits.
Following a report from 247Sports last week that the Aggies were the leader, the takeaway was that Jefferson's relationship with head coach Kevin Sumlin was strong enough that the lack of a defensive coordinator wouldn't impact his decision.
However, that may not be the case -- Jefferson told the Austin American-Statesman that he'd like to know who the Aggies will hire at that position by Wednesday so he can make an informed choice.
He later clarified that comment a little bit:
Malik Jefferson wants to clarify: He's not demanding A&M DC choice by Wednesday. Just hoping for clarity.— Max Olson (@max_olson) December 17, 2014
One of the most measured high-profile recruits in recent memory, Jefferson's wording about the situation was as strong as anything he's said during the recruiting process:
"It's killing me having such high interest in them," Jefferson said. "That's the part that really kills me. The defensive coordinator is what's really holding me back from them. Knowing who the guy is and what his background is."
As of early Wednesday afternoon, if Sumlin knows who is going to take the position and has told Jefferson, they are two of the only people who seem to know. Virginia Tech's Bud Foster remains a strong candidate, and his reputation is strong enough that it would be hard to imagine Jefferson not liking that hire, but Foster has been in Blacksburg for so long that it's hard to see him leaving while Frank Beamer is still the head coach.
The uncertainty surrounding that hire after having missed on Will Muschamp could bode well for the Longhorns.
Several other facts do as well.
Jefferson rebuked the report from 247Sports that his girlfriend is going to Texas A&M, telling the Statesman that he was dating a freshman in College Station, but that the relationship ended some time ago.
Conventional wisdom has also long held that his parents want him to go to Texas and he confirmed that fact on Tuesday. One of his brothers could also like to see him end up in burnt orange.
So the case for the Aggies leading was broken down quite a bit by the Statesman article, even though the fact remains that even Jefferson still doesn't know where he will go.
Jefferson and his teammate, four-star wide receiver DeAndre McNeal, will announce their respective commitments at 7:45 a.m. CT on Friday in a ceremony at Poteet.