Like A Son . . .

Florence, Ala., HS Coach Jamey DuBose has a special place in his heart for Ole Miss signee Kendrick Doss, who reported to Ole Miss Wednesday night and has now officially joined the Rebel football squad.

"I've had some great players and some great kids in my 20-plus years as a high school coach," began Jamey DuBose, the head coach at Florence (Ala.) HS, "but I've never coached a better one than Kendrick Doss.

"Kendrick is not only one of the best kids I've ever coached, he's one of the best kids I've ever known. He's like a son to me."

DuBose has a history with outstanding high school quarterbacks.

"My last six quarterbacks have played or are now playing college football," DuBose continued. "Larry Smith went to Vanderbilt, Casey Weston to Northern Illinois, Sam Gibson to LSU, Jaylen Whitlow to Kentucky and Justin Thomas to Georgia Tech.

"Kendrick Doss is as good, or better, than any of them, but what separates him is his personality and nature. We were in Wal-Mart this week and I can't tell you how many people came up to him and told him how much they were going to miss him around here. Half of them didn't know who I was and I'm the head football coach. He just has that kind of contagious personality. His peers love him. He's a leader, but he's the kind of kid who doesn't force leadership on anyone, if you know what I mean."

Doss and DuBose went to the Alabama Mr. Football banquet together this week and Doss finished in the Top 5.

"We went 9-4 this year and lost every game by less than a TD," DuBose noted. "We lost to Hoover in the quarterfinals, 22-21, of the 6A playoffs in a game we easily could have won.

Kendrick Doss
File Photo

"A lot of the credit goes to Kendrick. He had a great deal of pressure on him every Friday night as the quarterback in this state's toughest division and he handled it like a champion."

DuBose said it all comes back to Doss' character.

"Kendrick grew up tough. He has never had a whole lot, but one thing he's always had was a big smile on his face," DuBose continued. "No matter how rough things got, Kendrick was ready to take it on."

Academically, DuBose said Doss is "solid."

"The fact that he graduated early and qualified tells you something. Kendrick understands the value of an education and that it takes work. He's never been a discipline problem at all and he has his priorities right," DuBose added. "He just has something about him. He has a charisma that reminds me of Cam Newton - he gets it. He knows what it takes, in life and in football."

It doesn't hurt that Doss is also a superb athlete.

"Kendrick is 6-2 1/2, 6-3, weighs about 220 and he runs fast. He's hard to tackle, he's tough and he's smart," DuBose stated. "I'll tell you something else - when college scouts came in here last year, they were surprised how well he throws the ball. He throws a nice ball.

"Some coaches came in here talking about him being a linebacker or a safety or whatever. I think he'd be an NFL safety, but he wants to be a quarterback and he wants to prove he's a quarterback. That was one of the lures he had with Ole Miss - they're going to give him a chance to live his dream of being a college quarterback.

"I have no doubt he can do it once he's surrounded by receivers with his same talent level as he has, which Ole Miss has."

DuBose, who also coached current Rebs Ray Ray Smith and Austin Golson (he was at Prattville Golson's junior year before moving to Florence), thinks the Rebs have a special player, and person, in Kendrick Doss.

"I'm going to miss him, but we're going to stay in tough and I will come see him when I can," DuBose closed. "I know Ole Miss and Oxford are going to love him as much as Florence and I do."

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