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Texas makes the top 10 for 2016 five-star S Brandon Jones

Is another Longhorns-Aggies battle brewing on the recruiting trail?

Brandon Jones at the Houston NFTC in early 2014
Brandon Jones at the Houston NFTC in early 2014
Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

It's still relatively early in the recruiting process for Nacogdoches safety Brandon Jones, but that hasn't stopped him from becoming one of the most coveted safeties on the country.

So it was significant that the Texas Longhorns were included in the top 10 that Jones released on Sunday:

At this point in the recruiting cycle, a top-10 list may not attract that much attention, but the Longhorns were behind a number of major programs in offering Jones, raising some concerns about getting dropped on his list as a result.

If there was some negative impact from waiting to offer the 5'11, 183-pounder until the beginning of September, making the top group with Jones suggests that impact wasn't too significant.

Since Texas has struggled to land high-level safeties in recent years, Jones is a critical target in the 2016 recruiting class as a consensus five-star prospect, the nation's No. 1 safety, the No. 3 player in the state of Texas, and the No. 17 player overall according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Where do the Longhorn stand?

There's no order to the top group of schools for Jones, so there aren't any real clues there, but his 247Sports Crystal Ball rankings indicate that the industry believes Texas has some ground to make up, as Texas A&M is considered the runaway leader with all 16 of the predictions for Jones.

He's taken two unofficial visits to College Station.

However, the good news is that Jones told SB Nation Recruiting back in April that he grew up as a fan of the Longhorns, so there was at least some childhood affinity.

In October Jones traveled to Austin to watch the Iowa State game.

If the industry is correct, there's a lot of ground to make up with the playmaking safety, but making his top 10 was a solid start.