Fourth-year Jones College head football coach Steve Buckley preaches that at JC he wants to develop players academically, athletically and socially. And more than winning a national championship on the field, he wants kids to win in the classroom first.
That mentality and vision once again paid dividends for Buckley and the Bobcats during the 2019 football season.
Not only did the football program post a 3.16 cumulative GPA for the academic year, but it sent a conference-best 27 players on to four-year programs. JC had 30 sophomores on its 60-man roster.
During the NCAA's early signing period in December, 21 players inked with senior colleges to continue their football careers.
Six more Bobcats pledged to programs during the spring, including All-American running back Ladamian Webb to Florida State and offensive tackle Reed Buys to Mississippi State.
Since being hired as head coach on Dec. 2, 2015, Buckley and his staff have helped send 93 players to four-year programs.
The Bobcats finished the year with a 7-3 record, advanced to the MACJC playoffs for the third consecutive season and finished in the Top 10 for a third straight year. In addition, this year's Bobcat team led the nation in scoring defense, allowing only 11.8 points per game.
JC football four-year signees:
Ladamian Webb, RB, Florida State
Daylen Gill, LB, Ole Miss
Lakevias Daniel, DB, Ole Miss
Fred Smith, DB, Southern Miss
Kalyn Grandberry, RB, Memphis
Reed Buys, OT, Mississippi State
Jordan Chapman, OT, Troy
Logan Canerdy, OG, N'western State
Natorian Watts, WR, Tulane
Nataurean Watts, WR, Tulane
James Middleton, OT, Tulsa
D.J. Travis, DB, Louisiana-Monroe
Chei Hill, LB, Nicholls State
Fred Barnum, QB, Mississippi Valley
Jacory Rankin, WR, Miss. Valley
Ryon Rigsby, LB, Miss. Valley
Roderick Hicks, DB, Miss. Valley
Dontavious Porter, TE, Miss. Valley
Manny Jones, WR, Alcorn State
Cristofer Thompson, K, Alcorn State
Christian Barnes, OG, N. Alabama
Rahem Shorter, LB, Southern U.
Dakota Masters, LS, Southern U.
Evan Reese, DE, Lane College
* Brodie King, WR, Mississippi State
* J.D. Rutherford, DB, Southern Miss
*Alexis Galle, C, Southern Miss
* Preferred walk-ons