Former Florence HS Football Coach Steve Jones

I interviewed Coach Steve Jones, former head football coach at Florence High School, earlier in the year. Coach Jones has since taken the head coaching position at Columbia (MS) High School. Coach Jones talked about players on his Florence team that he thinks have a chance to be division-I prospects by their senior year.

Coach Jones, how about talking about players on your team that you feel have a chance to be division-I prospects by their senior year based on what you have seen so far.
"I have a junior lineman who could be a D-I player. His name is Jason Winstead. He is 6-3, 290. Although his forty speed is not that great (5.5 to 5.6), he is pretty quick."

I have always thought the forty speed is overrated as far as offensive linemen are concerned. I have never seen an offensive lineman have to go forty yards to make a block.
"Me either. If they have quick feet and can move, those are the main things."

I know you have a son, Cory, who plays for you and is considered one of the top juniors in the state of Mississippi this year. Talk a little about him.
"He is 5-10.5, weighs 180 and runs the forty in 4.45 seconds. His vision is one of his best attributes. If he can get into the open field, he is tough to bring down. He is a good return man. People just wouldn't punt to him this year. Last year, he returned 5 out of 10 punts for touchdowns. He is not one of the backs that a college will put in a I-formation and give it to him 40 times a games, just because he is not big enough to handle the pounding that you would have to take."

Has he won any honors?
"He has been (MAC) All-State the past two years."

Is he getting many letters from colleges?
"He has gotten letters from most of the SEC schools, a few of the Ivy League schools and other schools across the nation."

I know coaches can't call him right now because he is a junior, but with you as his coach, you can be contacted by coaches. Have any called you to talk about him?
"The head coach at West Virginia has called me. He said they would have signed him last year because he fits into what they do. They do a lot of run and shoot. I think that he is that kind of back because he has really good hands."

Does Cory plan on attending any camps during the spring and summer?
"Cory has been invited to the SE Region Nike combine (Tuscaloosa, April 27) and the Louisiana Combine at LSU (May 11). He also plans on attending camps at LSU, Notre Dame, USM (1 day), Auburn (1 day), Alabama (1 day) and Colorado."

Thanks for your time, Coach Jones.

[Note: Many players physically develop later than others and there is no way to know this until it happens. Therefore, the players mentioned above may not be the only potential D-I prospects on the team.-Gene]

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page (, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports and Mississippi high school sports on the internet. You can contact him by email at

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