Jordan Renaud is headed to the University of Alabama.
The Tyler Legacy defensive end announced his commitment on Monday inside the Tyler Legacy High School fieldhouse, as part of a live event hosted by 247sports.
Renaud chose Alabama over Oklahoma.
“Honestly, I just felt like both schools interested me a lot when it comes to their facilities and rich tradition,” Renaud said. “Those were the things that interested me in the schools. I really felt a draw to both schools, so those are the top two for that reason.”
Renaud is a consensus four-star recruit by all of the major recruiting services.
On3Sports has Renaud as the No. 65 recruit nationally, the No. 10 edge rusher and the No. 14 prospect in the state of Texas. At 247Sports, Renaud is ranked No. 129 nationally, No. 15 as a defensive lineman and No. 26 in the state of Texas. The 247Sports Composite rankings have Renaud at No. 69 nationally, No. 7 on the defensive line and No. 13 in Texas. Rivals has Renaud as No. 115 nationally, No. 9 at his position and No. 21 in the state. ESPN has Renaud at No. 45 nationally, No. 4 at his position, No. 11 in the state and No. 12 in the region.
Outside of Alabama and Oklahoma, Renaud’s offer list includes Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Liberty, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss, SMU, South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Central Florida, Bowling Green and Jackson State.
Renaud thanked God, his coaches and his family before thanking all of the schools who recruited him. Before he made his announcement, and he pulled out an Alabama hat from his bag and put it on his head.
“It was a tough decision,” Renaud said. “This was something I came up with last week, because I was walking the fence for so long, and I really had to come to myself and be like bro, you’ve only got one option. You can’t go to both schools. My family, my village and my coaches, they gave me counsel, but ultimately, I had the last say.”
Renaud will now play for Nick Saban, who has won seven national championships as a head coach — six at Alabama.
“He is just giving me an opportunity,” Renaud said. “It wasn’t a pitch. The thing that stood out to me was he wasn’t trying to make a pitch for NIL or anything like that. He was just like I’m going to give you an opportunity to be the best man you can be on and off the field.”
Renaud said both schools were appealing, but that Alabama’s ability to get players to the NFL, especially defensively lineman, was a factor.
“It was a hard bargain,” Renaud said. “I feel like I could’ve been prosperous at both schools. I just feel like I needed a little bit more oomph to get to where I want to go, and ultimately, that’s the league. I feel like the school that produces the most people in the league is Alabama, so that was a reason I chose them.”
Alabama has had a defensive lineman selected in the first two rounds of the NFL draft in every year since 2016. The Crimson Tide have had 24 first-round picks in that span.
Renaud started his high school career at Palmetto High School in Florida, helping the team reach the Class 6A state semifinals as a sophomore. He then moved to Lewisville High School, but ended up at Tyler Legacy just before his junior year.
Renaud’s father, Joel Renaud, is on the coaching staff at Tyler Legacy.
“It’s an exciting day,” Joel Renaud said. “I’m glad that it’s over. It was fun while it lasted, and I’m just ready to move on to the next phase of our lives and his life and get it going. We sat down with him and told him to go where he can grow. I wanted him to be where his mind, heart and soul wanted to be. What I wanted, it doesn’t matter. Ultimately, it’s his decision. Because I didn’t want him to look back and say hey look, you told me to go here and I wasn’t successful. I gave him some guidance, but I wanted it to be his decision. I love both programs. And I would ask him from time to time where he was leaning, and he said, ‘dad, you’ll know when you know.’ I’m thinking one thing, and he totally psyched me out.”
As a junior, Renaud had 66 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks, three pass breakups, one forced fumble and one interception. The Red Raiders went 6-6 and advanced to the area round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Through four games this season, Renaud has 30 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The 6-4, 245-pound senior has also made an impact on offense. In the season opener against Lufkin, he caught an eight-yard touchdown pass. On Friday against Texas High, Renaud had a 21-yard carry on a fake punt on fourth down. On special teams, Renaud picked up a punt blocked by teammate Diego Castillo and returned it 13 yards into the red zone.
Aside from what he does as a player, Renaud has also become a leader for the Red Raiders.
“That’s something my dad and my parents have to take credit for, Renaud said. “I can’t really take credit for that. My dad says all of the time, it’s not on you, it’s in you. That’s something that’s been in me for the longest is to lead. I’ve always been a trendsetter, and I’ve always been a person that people follow. It really came easy to me.”
“As a coach, it means everything, because we want to be player led,” Tyler Legacy head football coach Joe Willis said. “Because out there between the lines, there’s not any coaches. So he’s a guy that we can count on to be vocal. He does a great job doing that. It speaks to his character and also the kind of culture he brings. And I think that’s why he’s an attractive player for places like Alabama and Oklahoma. They’re very culture oriented on defense. I think they really desire a guy like that, a guy that’s a leader who is not just a good player, but he’s also very vocal on the field.
This is the second consecutive year the Red Raiders will send a player to Alabama.
“Anytime we get a chance to send players off to really good programs like Alabama, it shows that our guys here are putting in a lot of work. It’s obviously a great accomplishment, a huge deal for Jordan and his family. To go to Alabama and play at one of the best places in the nation and to have two guys in two years go there, that’s really special.”
At Alabama, Renaud will get to team up with former high school teammate Jamarion Miller, a running back that has 11 carries for 83 yards this season as a freshman for the Crimson Tide.
“That’s my guy,” Renaud said. “I talked to a little bit, and the advice he gave me was take all of your visits, talk to God and make sure your family approves. He never tried to persuade me to go to Alabama. I just felt like Alabama fit me on a different scale.”
Renaud and other senior football players can officially sign on Dec. 21.