When it came time to pick a college, Terrence Jones sat at a table in front of friends, family and the press at Jefferson High School in Portland. After mumbling through a statement -- in what clearly looked like a stall tactic -- Jones picked up a Washington hat to cheers from the crowd. With that, Washington picked up their biggest commitment in the class -- until they didn't.
Moments later, Jones retreated away from the spotlight and picked up the phone, calling Kentucky head coach John Calipari. In the days that followed, he waved on his commitment, appearing to still be undecided even though he had picked Washington in such a public fashion.
Was Calipari trying to sway the recruit behind the scenes? Why did Jones choose Washington so publicly before retreating from the limelight to quietly fax his Letter of Intent to Kentucky weeks later? Jones sat down with Yahoo! reporter Jason King to explain his side of the story.
What did Jones say when he called Calipari shortly after the press conference ended?
He told me, ‘I'm sorry. I made a mistake,'" Calipari said earlier this week. "He was obviously crying. He said, ‘I can't believe I did this. I don't know what I was thinking.'"
It appears Jones immediately had buyers remorse. The high school senior was making the biggest decision of his life and, through his actions and words at the press conference, it was clear he hadn't actually made a choice up until he picked up UW cap.
"I didn't have a decision made yet," he said, "but, at the same time, I was ready to be done with it. It was a confusing situation. It's something I felt I was put on the spot to do. I wasn't ready to do that."
In a matter of hours, Husky fans went from elated to betrayed when word of Jones' wavering went public. Jones said he began receiving threatening phone calls, messages and letters from fans angry at his sudden change of heart.
Months later, he's at Kentucky, preparing for his freshman year under the leadership of Calipari. With the past behind him, he's happy to be there. It's clear from King's story that Jones has always wanted to play for Calipari, but the lure of nearby Washington was almost enough to keep him home.