It’s Auburn for Callaway’s Jones
Published 9:19 pm Sunday, July 15, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s Auburn for Keiondre Jones.
Jones, a senior offensive lineman for the Callaway Cavaliers, first began garnering attention from college coaches before he was even in high school.
Jones, in fact, was receiving offers from some of the country’s most prominent programs while he was an eighth-grader at Callaway Middle School.
Over the years, the interest in Jones only increased, and he developed into one of the most heavily recruited players in the state.
Last week, it looked like Jones’ recruiting journey was coming to a close when he narrowed the list of schools he would possibly sign with to three.
On Saturday morning, Jones revealed his decision.
Jones, on a video he posted on social medial, announced that he plans on signing a letter of intent to play football at Auburn.
Jones can make it official during the early signing period in December, or on national signing day in February.
“The first thing for me, I’ve got to be around a good family atmosphere, I’ve got to be comfortable where I’m at,” Jones said on his video. “I’ve got to know the people around me really care about me.”
“The second thing is I’ve got to be close to home,” Jones added. “If something was to happen, my mom’s got to be able to get to me right away. The third thing, I’ve got to be around God-fearing men and women.”
At that point in the video, Jones put an Auburn cap on, and he and his mother Antrenise both yelled out “War Eagle.”
Jones finished the video by exclaiming, “let’s go get some rings.”
Moments later, Jones issued a statement where he expanded on his decision.
He thanked his mother, his middle-school coach Kerry Woodard, as well as Deborah Dunn, who was an assistant principal at Callaway High when she died in 2016.
“You believed in me when there was no reason to, even when I didn’t believe in myself,” Jones wrote. “You spoke over my life when I had no idea what you were doing. All the hugs you gave me seemed to come at just the right times. Despite the fight you were fighting, you kept a smile on your face. That’s something that keeps me going when times get rough. I love and miss you so much. Thank you to Mr. (Kevin) Dunn for allowing me to do this in her honor.”
Woodard coached Jones at Callaway Middle, and the two have remained closed since then.
“Thank you to all my coaches for pushing me day in and day out, even when I didn’t want to be pushed,” Jones wrote. “I give a special thanks to coach Woodard, aka “Pops.” You have no clue how much you mean to me. Without you, I may not even be in this position. You’ve done so much for me since we first met and loved me like I’m your own. I’m so grateful for that.”
Jones added his thanks “to my family for being by my side throughout my life. Thank you momma for everything, the long road trips, all the food, the love you gave me, and the hidden lessons you’ve taught me through your actions.”
Jones is the third current high-school player in Troup County to make a verbal commitment to Auburn.
Troup’s Andy Boykin and Kobe Hudson, who are both scheduled to graduate in 2020, have committed to Auburn.
Boykin, a defensive lineman, made his announcement on Twitter in November when he wrote that he’s “blessed to say that I’ve officially committed to Auburn University.”
In April, Hudson announced during a ceremony in the Troup High media center that Auburn was his choice as well.
Hudson pulled an Auburn hat out of a box and put it on to answer the question as to where he’d be going.
Hudson has been a dynamic wide receiver his first two seasons at Troup, but he could end up moving to quarterback this fall.
The three Auburn commits will share the field on Sept. 14 when Troup and Callaway face off.