Penn State's top football recruit for 2012 apparently is no longer with the Nittany Lions.
According to a report on the website of Rochester-area television station WHAM, defensive tackle Jarron Jones, ranked as one of the top players in the country, has withdrawn his verbal commitment to Penn State after making an unofficial visit to Notre Dame.
"I talked to the [Penn State] coaches, they were upset about it but they won't stop recruiting me," Jones said in the report. "We talked and everybody's on the same page, though."
In addition to Penn State and Notre Dame, Jones is considering North Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Jones, a 6-foot-6, 295-pounder from Aquinas Institute, originally gave what he termed a "soft" commitment -- he would still visit other colleges -- to the Nittany Lions in early April. He is rated the No. 2 defensive tackle in the rising senior class by both Scout.com and 247Sports.com.
Verbal commitments are not binding by NCAA rule.
The article stated all four of the colleges Jones mentioned were on equal footing now. While Penn State was still in the running to land Jones, though, some of his comments made it seem that the Lions now are facing an uphill climb.
"Notre Dame is a smaller school, and that's the kind of place I need to be. Aquinas is a smaller school and I've been doing a lot better there. It's just a better way to explore my options," Jones said.
The report stated that Jones intended to make a visit to Penn State in early August and to Virginia Tech for a game. However, Jones also told the station he anticipated making a decision before Aquinas opened its season.
Without Jones, Penn State has 10 verbal commitments in this recruiting class. The Lions are expected to sign in the neighborhood of 24 players.
It was thought the Lions would try to land four defensive tackles in the class, but Penn State picked up two verbals from DTs at its senior-only camp on June 25, giving it five players at the position before Jones decommitted. Online reports also still have the Lions pursuing highly ranked Illinois defensive tackles Tommy Schutt and Faith Ekakatie.