Kameron Jones of SHS looks to be more of a vocal leader

Kameron Jones
Staff Writer

Over half of the offensive line walked out the doors of Starkville High School with diplomas in hand and ready to take on the next level of football.

While it continues to reflect well on the program that players are continuing their careers, this year’s team had to deal with the holes that needed filling. That was made much easier with the return of 6-5, 280-pound Kameron Jones at right tackle.

Of course, Jones had to adjust himself accordingly to become more of a vocal leader this season. The big blocker is soft spoken and worked harder on being a vocal leader when the team lost center Connor Reinike, left tackle Joey Claybrook and guard Jakoby Jones.

“It’s been a new role," Kameron Jones said. "I probably should have been a leader last year, but this year I think I’ve stepped into it pretty well. Being around (the older players), I learned a lot of things about being aggressive and take the leadership like they did.”

The leadership role is the biggest thing that Jones had to work on throughout the last year because the talent alone has been there. New offensive line coach William Stewart saw it right away when he was coaching his group.

Not even a few mistakes here and there were able to keep Jones from being the alpha dog on the field against his teammates and opponents. Stewart has continued to try and develop the raw talent that’s there to make him a more complete player.

“When I got here, he was just so much more athletic than other people,” Stewart said. “Kameron can do things the wrong way and still survive and win. One thing that he’s really worked on is kicking back and using his hands.”

The mild-mannered big man did have a lapse in judgment earlier this year that he wish he could take back. During a scrum after a play in the second half against Oxford, Jones threw a punch at a defender sending him to the locker room ejected from the game.

Not only did the team have to play without him for the tense fourth quarter and overtime, it also missed him against West Point the next week when SHS was handed its first loss.

Knowing that he hurt his teammates in that game by being absent for three quarters didn’t sit well with Jones.

“Kameron Jones has been raised the right way," Stewart said. "It bothered him being thrown out of the game. That’s uncharacteristic of him. Kameron came back that next week and responded well. He worked hard and made the other players better.”

Now Jones is ready for the long haul and helping lead his team to the state championship is first on his mind. After that, there will be a college decision to make.

Jones has racked up 11 Division-1 offers over the last year that includes teams like Memphis, Florida Atlantic, UT San Antonio, Marshall, Louisiana Tech and others.

Arkansas State, UTSA and Memphis have been recruiting him the hardest, he said. One of them is standing out the most.

“I kind of like Memphis a little more,” Jones said. “The strength and conditioning coach is cool and the o-line coach is awesome. I went up there for a visit earlier in the summer and really enjoyed it. I’ll be back up there when they play UCLA.”

Stewart thinks wherever Jones ends up next year, the sky is the limit. Having played college football at Mississippi Valley in the late 1990’s as well as arena football, Stewart knows what it takes to be successful in the sport.

“In my honest opinion, the best thing for Kameron Jones would be a redshirt year to grow," Stewart said. "Kameron is going to leave and go to college at 17-years-old, so him going to college and maturing for a year will allow him to adjust well.”

As of now, though, Jones worried about SHS and SHS alone.