Photo: Lauren Landes/TexasHSFootball

HIGHLAND PARK, Texas — Somewhere in Dallas, Jerry Jones is smiling.

So, too, is Arkansas’ new Head Coach Chad Morris, who made a power play for Highland Park star quarterback John Stephen Jones on Sunday and  hours before the world turned its eyes too the kickoff of Super Bowl LII.

Tom Brady and Nick Foles, however, would have to wait. John Stephen, grandson of the Dallas Cowboys’ owner, may be the quarterback foremost in America’s mind after settling doubts about where he’ll land in 2018:

“I am super pumped to announce that I am committed to the University of Arkansas,” he said in the tweet. “Thank you to my family for supporting me through this process, my teammates and coaches at Highland Park for helping get me where I am, and to all the coaches that gave me an opportunity when a lot of people said I wasn’t capable of playing at that next level.”

He is still required to sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) during the Wednesday, February 7, 2018 National Signing Day to make his decision official.

John Stephen is arguably the most talented quarterback in the 2018 recruiting class, if not the most regarded. He completed 242 of his 336 passes (72 percent) for 4,186 yards, 53 touchdowns and just three interceptions.


RELATED: Ta’Zhawn Henry Shakes Lubbock with Saturday Night Verbal Commitment


Highland Park won 29 of its 32 games since 2016 and won back-to-back University Scholastic League Class 5A State Championships with John Stephen under center. He also won the eighth annual Landry Award — which recognizes the top North Texas high school football player who demonstrates positive character and leadership attributes – on Dec. 11.

Per 247Sports Composite Rankings, he is No. 54 pro-style quarterback in the nation and the 239th rated athlete in Texas, earning him three-star rating despite his 5-foot-10 and 175-pound frame. John Stephen turned down six other schools, including Southern Methodist and Texas Tech Universities and the University of Texas, en route to choosing to become a Razorback.

Lucas Lovejoy four-star ILB Bumper Pool. Photo courtesy Stu Mair/The Red Ledger

He won’t be the only one in Fayetteville, Arkansas with Texas roots, though.

John Stephen will join former Morris, a state championship head coach with Austin Lake Travis High School. Allen true sophomore kicker Conner Limpert, College Park true junior Ryder Lucas, Arlington Lamar redshirt freshman wide receiver Kofi Boateng, Cypress redshirt freshman defensive lineman Brandon DePrato, and several others are there, too.

Arkansas will look for John Stephen (committed), Lucas Lovejoy four-star inside linebacker Bumper Pool (enrolled), Yoakum three-star offensive tackle Silas Robinson (signed), and a host of recruits to help improve 4-8 overall and 1-7 SEC records under former coach Bret Bielema last season.

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Marcus Matthews-Marion is the managing editor of TexasHSFootball, covering prep football throughout the Lone Star State and collegiate and professional football throughout the country. Follow him on Twitter, @TheMJMatthews, and read more of his content here.

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