Starkville High School football coach Ricky Woods talks about Mississippi State signee Kobe Jones

Mississippi State fans received some big news on National Signing Day when hometown hero, Kobe Jones, elected to remain in Starkville and play for the Bulldogs of Mississippi State. Starkville High School head football coach Ricky Woods believes that Jones has the chance to have a solid career on the college level.

"He was the only one we had playing both ways this year," Coach Woods said of Kobe Jones, "I honestly think he could play either side of the ball in college. He's very talented and very athletic. I could see him putting on another 20 to 30 pounds."

Jones has taken most of his defensive snaps as a defensive end, but he has the grit to play on the interior if he needs to. Coach Woods expects Jones to stay outside once he suits up for Coach Dan Mullen and his staff.

"I could see it going either way just depending on how things go," Woods said of a potential position change. "I feel like he will stay at end though, because he can really run. They all have to be able to run now a days and he can.

"I think a lot of it is going to depend on their depth chart up there for next year and the year after. I am not sure how any of that looks, but I feel confident that he's going to make plays for them. I am not sure if it will be this year or the next year, but he's a good football player and he works hard."

While Woods only had the opportunity to coach Jones one season, the veteran state champion coach was impressed in how the talented senior carried himself on and off of the field.

"He's a good person," Woods said of Jones. "He really is and everybody seems to like him. I know he worked really hard for us on and off of the field. He's a good leader and he wants to do good and that means a lot."

Jones named Mississippi State a favorite in the early stages of his recruitment, but the 6-4, 260 pounder kept Bulldog fans guessing until the very end. In fact, Jones' own head coach was not sure what the personable big man would do until he made his signing day announcement.

"I really try to stay out of all of that," Woods said of the recruiting process. "I didn't know what he or A.J. (Brown) were going to do until signing day. I didn't know and I didn't want to know. I just try to leave that up to the players and their families.

"I am just happy that they had some great opportunities and that they get to continue their education. I know they worked hard for us and did some great things, while they were here."

Despite splitting time on both sides of the line of scrimmage in his final prep season, which ended with the 6A state championship, Jones recorded 33 tackles, batted down five passes, forced and recovered one fumble. Jones was named to the Mississippi All-Star team, selected as a first team All-Stater and named an All-American by the Semper Fidelis Bowl selection committee. 

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