It was set for November 15th. Safety Laurence "Hootie" Jones was going to make a trip to Tuscaloosa for the LSU-Alabama on the 9th and then announce his college destination the following Friday. LSU was attempting to get Hootie in one last time for the Furman game today, but for whatever reason you may want to believe, Hootie had a change of heart. Moving his announcement date to the 25th gave LSU the opportunity to host him for his last visit when the Tigers played host to the Texas A&M Aggies in Baton Rouge on the 23rd. A chance to allow LSU to get him to see a likely livelier environment, although Hootie has seen his fair share of LSU games this year and in previous years.
What caused the change of plans? Well like the Tootsie Roll Pop commercial, the world may never know the real reason behind the change. He stated on Twitter that it was due to school things. Miles had a phone call with Hootie before the change of plans, so maybe Miles did some convincing. It may have been Hootie and his momma deciding it wasn't fair that Alabama was going to have a much better environment for his final visit to the school compared to seeing LSU take on Furman. Either way, LSU gets a more quality visit and fans will have to way a wee bit longer to know his final decision.
Does this change really make anything different, well it depends on how you look at the glass.
That Glass Is Half Empty
If you are a skeptic in the recruiting world, you are seeing this visit as a bad omen. "Well, Hootie always had the Alabama visit planned and now he HAS to see a better game at LSU, not good." The mindset here is that Miles realized he was behind the leader of the pack and convinced Hootie to come to a better game in hopes of making a better impression and change his mind right before his new decision date. They see this as an attempt from LSU to make up ground to get in Hootie's mind one last time.
Or That Glass Is Half Full
If you are an optimist, you see the change in that he is visiting a bigger game to be around more of potentially his future teammates and a chance to get excited for LSU right before he makes his choice. These people were a little down that he was going to see Furman and then witness an atmosphere like there will be in Tuscaloosa before making his decision. Now, LSU becomes the last thing he sees and we all know the last thing we see is what is more prominent on our mind.
Which Way Will He Go George?'
My prediction was LSU even before this change and this change only encourages me to hold onto my decision. His mom had been a huge influence in his recruiting process and this will benefit LSU. Hootie initially had a lot of interest in Ohio State due to growing up a fan of the team. His mom didn't want him to go that far away from home and his recruitment quickly turned into a two-horse race. If there is one thing that Les can out-recruit probably any other coach in the nation with is his family aspect and his ability to get the moms on his side. Hootie has also attended a lot more LSU games than Alabama, even traveling to Dallas earlier this year to watch LSU pick up a victory over TCU in JerryWorld. I understand he is friends with Alabama commitment Cameron Robinson, but I feel that friendship is a little over-inflated and don't feel there is as much of an impact there as people believe.
Things will definitely get a lot interesting over the coming weeks as more news will likely come out as Hootie nears his final two visits and post-visit reports will give both fanbases reason to believe their school will ultimately get a highly-ranked safety. Come November 25th though, I think LSU fans will be happy