New linebackers coach Jeff Koonz got his first commitment last month when in-state product Austin Keys verbally pledged to Ole Miss. And now he has his second commitment.
Three-star outside linebacker Jaqwondis Burns visited Oxford over the weekend after previously being recruited by Koonz while he was at North Texas. The Terrell, Tex. native quickly committed to the Rebels while in Mississippi and is now the newest member of Matt Luke’s 2020 class.
The No. 43 outside linebacker in the country chose Koonz and the Rebs over notable offers from Arizona, Baylor, Colorado, Houston, Kansas, State, Louisville, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas Tech, Utah, and UTSA among others.
“As soon as we got on campus I felt at home,” Burns told the Ole Miss Spirit, en route back to Texas on Saturday night. “I felt love. I just love the coaches. I loved the relationships everybody has with each other.”
Ole Miss offered Burns just days ago, re-affirming the offer that Koonz submitted while in Denton, Tex. with the Mean Green.
”They like me at like a hybrid position on that defense, maybe outside linebacker, safety, but they can see me as an edge rusher,” Burns told the Ole Miss Spirit.
“Coach Koonz was fired up when I committed. I had to get him and sit him down,” Burns laughed. “He was excited. he couldn’t keep his mouth closed when we were eating. Coach Luke was fired up, too.”
As a junior at Terrell High School, Burns made 47 tackles, had six tackles for loss, forced one fumble, and was a unanimous first-team all-district selection. Also of note, Burns’ brother, Bear Alexander, is a teammate at Terrell and a big-time 2022 defensive tackle prospect. He already holds notable offers from Florida, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas A&M.
How does he fit in?
The 6’2, 205-pounder is an impressive athlete at the second level in 5A football in the Metroplex area. He is long, athletic, and has the frame to support 15-20 more pounds in order to be better-suited for the rigors of the Southeastern Conference. But, despite being a little light in the pants, he is more than willing to stick his nose in there at the line of scrimmage and can really lay the wood.
If Burns is able to add some significant weight as a senior and arrive in Oxford willing to get after it in the weight-room with strength and conditioning coach Paul Jackson, I think he has the skill set and mentality to make an impact early on in his career.