They say you always remember your first college start.
For former Colerain High School standout Andre Jones going from star in high school to starter in college has taken longer than he wanted. However, he knows in the years to come he’ll remember that first one.
“My first start and I was kind of nervous out there with it being Ohio State,” said Jones. “Coach (Kerry) Coombs, that’s my guy. He recruited me here, but unfortunately, things didn’t work out and he’s at %%MATCH_6%% State. After the game he came up and gave me a hug and told me I played a great game.
“Being up there with over 108,000 people, a record, it was a blessing for me as I’ve never played in front of a crowd like that before. Never played in a big game before and with that being my first start, it was pretty good.”
When did Jones learn he would be starting?
“I met with Coach (Jeff) Koonz on Monday,” explained Jones. “He told me if I had a good week of practice, I would make my start. I had a great week of practice and went out there Saturday and started.”
While excited about his first start, Jones also knows nothing is promised going forward.
“I’m not sure if I’m going to start,” he said. “But I’m not going to be mad if I don’t start or if I do start. I’m just going to go out there and play my game.
“Zach Edwards, Mike Tyson and I are all going to play and we’re all here for each other and have each other’s back. I just come out here every day with the juice trying to get everybody pumped up and get ready to go.”
Jones remembers the long road he’s taken to get to this point in his career.
“You have to put in a lot of work and that was my first start,” he continued. “I’ve been here for two and a half years, so you’ve got to come out here every day with a positive attitude and just work. My number finally got called and I just played my game.”
One thing Jones is very proud of is representing his hometown.
“Wearing the Cincinnati jersey you have to come out and put it on for your city,” he said. “Being a local guy, a Colerain guy, I have a lot more pressure on me because a lot more people are watching me because I’m from here.
“So every time I put that jersey on, I’m not only playing for myself, I’m playing for my mom, dad, my school, community and my city. So every time I put that jersey on I know I need to lock in and represent.”