Christian Jones

Christian Jones, Lake Howell High School, will make the tough choice of colleges during National Signing Day. (RED HUBER, ORLANDO SENTINEL / February 2, 2010)

Christian Jones is excited about this morning. It's one of the biggest days of his young life and it will be televised live by ESPN, the Worldwide leader in sports.

"I can't wait to announce the school I'm going to," the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Lake Howell linebacker said on Tuesday morning. " I kind of have it in my mind, but I'm not really 100 percent."

Choosing the school has been hard.

Weeding through more than 30 college football scholarship offers over the past two years. That was hard.

He's had to field hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls from coaches, players, fans, journalists, people acting like journalists. Yes, hard.

He had to work his football and basketball and school schedules around college visits to places like Oklahoma, Alabama, Notre Dame and Tennessee. Again, difficult.

And later this morning he will going under the lights at the ESPN Zone at Disney's -- Boardwalk in Lake Buena Vista to reveal his college choice. Sure, that will be hard, as well.

But the hardest task of the Lake Howell linebacker's entire recruiting process will come this morning when he has to get on the phone and tell four coaches, it's been real, but your efforts were not good enough.

"That's a tough one right there," Jones said of telling them all no. "You build relationships with these guys for about two years and you don't want to tell them no, but you've got to."

One, however, will get the answer all of them want to here. Jones has narrowed his college choices down to Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee, alphabetized to show he hasn't let on who the favorite is.

Sure, he had said most of the process that Florida State was his top school. His dad played there. So did his brother. And if Christian Jones decides to play there, it could be the beginning of a huge National Signing Day haul for the Seminoles.

FSU coaches probably didn't sleep last night. Their lives weigh in the balance of the decisions by four young men this morning.

Jones, Tampa Catholic WR Christian Green (between FSU and Georgia), Hialeah tackle Corey Lemonier (Auburn and FSU), and there are others.

And Jones could help make or break this 2010 class.

Same foes for other players across the state.

Florida is waiting on Jones, as well, but their hopes aren't likely as high as they might have been at one time. The Gators are also hoping to land Tampa Catholic OT Chaz Green, Minnesota OT Seantrel Henderson and a solid wide receiver like Baltimore's Adrian Coxon.

If either Florida or Florida State was waiting around for Tampa Leto's Mr. Versatile Jeremy Deering, too late. He's headed to Rutgers.

Miami, too, is hoping, but their hopes seem to have faded. Maybe they'll land Miramar WR Ivan McCartney. Henderson was even down for the visit in Coral Gables last week. He sure would change things for Randy Shannon's bunch.

Then there's UCF. What more could the Knights possibly do to make an already stellar recruiting class even more talented. Oh yeah, add Miami Central RB Brandon Gainer and big OT Jose Jose. No you are not seeing double, but when you see this 300-plus pounder at Bright House Networks Stadium, you might think you are.

Today is finally the end of this process. For the Class of 2010, its fate will be determined and the future plans will be set in motion. The end and the beginning coincide in one dramatic meaning.

Then, like a carousel: Hey, who's the No. 1 QB for the Class of 2011?

And so it begins again.