The No. 1 athlete for the Class of 2017 is ready to announce his college football plans.
Oakland’s JaCoby Stevens, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior, plans to choose between Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU in front of his teammates and friends at 2:30 p.m. Monday in the school’s gymnasium.
Here are five things about Stevens.
One-time LSU bound
Stevens originally committed to LSU in September before decommitting two months later when Les Miles’ job security came into question.
However, LSU’s administration later said Miles was keeping his job. LSU opened the 2015 season 7-0 before three straight losses to Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss.
With LSU still in his final four, could the Tigers get Stevens back in their 2017 recruiting class? Stevens’ family is originally from Louisiana.
Future is defense
Despite being listed as an athlete by recruiting services, Stevens’ future is on the defensive side of the ball. Stevens is being recruited as a safety by most schools. However, Auburn has told him it will consider him as a two-way player.
Stevens recorded 84 tackles with 8.5 for loss in 2015. He also picked off six passes, recovered two fumbles and scored two defensive touchdowns.
But he’s also a dangerous offensive weapon. He caught 32 passes for 806 yards with 11 TDs. He rushed for 123 yards and scored three more TDs a year ago out of the Patriots’ wildcat formation.
Stevens was also a Tennessee Titans Class 6A Mr. Football Back finalist last season.
Started prep career at Ensworth
Stevens was part of Ensworth’s last Division II-AA state championship as a freshman on the 2013 Tigers squad.
Stevens assisted on two tackles and broke up a pass in Ensworth’s 27-10 win over Memphis University School.
However, he transferred to Oakland during the spring of 2014.
Stevens played basketball for the Patriots this past season. He was a role player who helped Oakland reach the Region 4-AAA semifinals.
Stevens averaged 5.3 points during the regular season.
He won a Division II-AA basketball state title at Ensworth in 2013. He scored two points with five rebounds in 16 minutes in the 57-46 championship win over MUS.
Vols were first
Stevens’ college football offers includes a who’s who of the sport.
However, Tennessee was first on board.
Vols assistant Tommy Thigpen offered him after having a cell-phone conversation at the Pope John Paul II 40-yard line after working out at the Hendersonville private school’s athletic complex.
“I’ll never forget that,” Stevens said. “I’ll be an old granddad in the rocking chair telling my grand kids that Tennessee was the first to offer.”
Reach Tom Kreager at 615-259-8089 and on Twitter @Kreager.