LaGrange’s Ligon commits to UAB
Published 5:41 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023
LaGrange’s Jaden Ligon has slowly, but surely climbed the offensive line depth chart for the Grangers the past several years and has been rewarded with a plethora of Division I offers despite only one season starting. Last week, he formally announced his commitment to the University of Alabama-Birmingham, choosing to be a Blazer over going to Troy University as these two Alabama based schools were his two finalists.
“When I got on campus. there was a real connection,” Ligon said. “They showed me a lot of hospitality and really showed my mom and brother a lot of love and that got my attention.”
The 6-foot-5 mammoth of a man moves defenders with relative ease on the football field but is a soft spoken and polite young man when not strapped up in his pads. Most importantly for the Grangers, he is a real leader and inspiration for some of the younger players on the team.
“I help relay plays from the sidelines to the players,” he said. “I want to lead by example and actions too.”
Ligon did not start in his first two years at LaGrange as he bided his time watching and learning from the bench while starting on JV. He did not run from the grind, he embraced it.
“I worked to get my footwork better, pulling better, getting stronger, really I worked on improving everything,” Ligon said.
His positive attitude helped propel him to a big junior season. Ligon received his first start during the first game of the Grangers 2022 schedule against Smiths Station on the road, a prospect that he was more excited for than he was nervous. He ended up being named to the honorable mention all-region list in his first season as a starter.
Ligon made a quick impression as the team’s starting left tackle — one of the most important positions in football. Ligon feels most natural at left tackle but understands that he will likely have to start out his college career as a guard.
There is nothing like winning for Ligon. It is what drives him to be better. When he was at Gardner Newman, the LaGrange team did not win a lot of games and the prospect of playing for a bad Granger team loomed. Fortunately for both the program and Ligon, Matt Napier took over as head coach heading into Ligon’s freshman year (2020) and shifted the entire culture and football landscape at LaGrange.
“The team was really bad when I was in middle school, but when coach Napier got here it was like a whole ‘nother ball game,” Ligon said. “He changed everything here. He has made everybody better.”
“You can’t take a rep off. They won’t let you do that here.”
Ligon has big goals for his senior season and is happy to get the college recruitment process out of the way and focus on his final hurrah in blue and white. He has eyes on being an all-state player like his partner on the offensive line Jycel Mosley, who is a two-time all-state selection. Ligon is not just content with individual honors and envisions the team winning a region title before making a run deep in the playoffs.
While the big man with a winning smile will not be in LaGrange much longer, he will still get the chance to play in front of his family. Playing close to home was one of his major aspects of college life he was looking for. He found it in Birmingham.