Former Callaway star Keiondre Jones looks back at his time at Auburn and Callaway while looking forward to his time at Florida State
Published 2:41 pm Friday, April 21, 2023
Former Callaway football star Keiondre Jones is looking to make a big impact at Florida State this fall. The offensive lineman graduated from Auburn last fall and decided it was time for a new challenge as he heads into his fifth year of playing college football. The decision to head to Florida State was a relatively easy one.
“It’s Florida State, that speaks for itself,” Jones said. “They have some really nice pieces down here. I think we have a chance to be something special next year. It’s also only three hours from home and you can’t beat that (chuckles).”
Jones holds no-ill will toward Auburn and looks back fondly on his time there. To have the opportunity to play college football with two former high school teammates, Tank Bigsby and Tate Johnson, was a special experience for the three Cavalier legends.
“When Tate and Tank started telling me that it was a real possibility they come to Auburn I got excited,” Jones said. “I think me and Tank played for six or seven years together before playing together at Auburn.”
The Callaway connection will live on with Jones forever. He made his brothers for life there. These bonds he formed at Callaway extend beyond the ones he made with his fellow players.
“I don’t have any biological brothers but I have friends from those Callaway teams that I consider to be my brothers for the rest of my life,” Jones said.
Callaway will alway be a part of him even as time and distance sees him move further away from his time as a Cavalier, but he remains a Cavalier for life.
“College football is fun, but there is nothing like high school football,” Jones said. “To go out there and play for coach (Pete) Wiggins and look up and see all my family in the stands was special.
“Coach Wiggins instilled in me that hard work that comes with winning.”
Time has slipped away and now, Jones is a college veteran. Leadership and experience is exactly what he is bringing to the Seminoles.
“I’ve been through the fire a lot down in Auburn,” Jones said. “I have been through a lot of ups and downs and kept a level head through it all.
“When the coaches yell at [the younger players] they can come to me for a little bit of comfort.”
While games are still months away, Jones got the chance to suit up with the Seminoles last weekend for their spring game. Jones got to run with the starting lineup and will be penciled in as one of the five starters on the offensive line heading into the summer.
“We have a hell of a group,” Jones said. “It’s been a blessing to learn from them and we ask each other a lot of questions and learn from the experiences we have learned over the years.”
The bar is sky high for Jones this season. After having limited team success in his four years at Auburn, especially during his final two seasons in which the Tigers combined to go 11-14.
“The expectations are high here,” Jones said. “This is not some experiment to see how good we can be. We have national championship aspirations… Once I got down here they were already rocking and rolling.
“One of my biggest goals is to be on a winning team and contribute the best that I can.” Jones said.
Jones has been steady throughout his football career, never getting too high or too low when difficult circumstances arise.
“Knowing the kind of position I came from growing up as a kid and knowing how many people would kill to be in the position I am now keeps my level heading,” Jones said. “It also comes from my mom, who no matter if things were going good or bad, always stayed level headed.”
It will not be long before Jones takes the field for the first regular season game with the Seminoles. Callaway fans will get the chance to see Jones suit up on national television in his first game as a Seminole as they take on LSU in Orlando on Sept. 3.