Depth is no longer a problem in Jon Sumrall’s inside linebacker room. Jacquez Jones, Ole Miss’ leading tackler in 2020, has committed to Kentucky. Jones was also considering South Carolina, UCLA, West Virginia and Liberty, but was convinced to become a Wildcat while visiting UK’s campus this week.
New Chapter In My Story ??? pic.twitter.com/EYnwvlvkn2
— Jacquez Jones (@ESPN_Jac) June 10, 2021
This fall of 2021 will be the second season Jones has spent learning from Sumrall. Jones played as a true freshman for the Rebels, recording 36 tackles, 2.5 for loss and a forced fumble in 2018, Sumrall’s only year in Oxford. The exceptional season earned Jones a spot on the SEC All-Freshman team.
“We are thrilled to add Jacquez to our team,” head coach Mark Stoops said in UK’s press release. “He’s an experienced playmaker who has been a great leader in our league.”
Hailing from Tuscaloosa, AL, Jones was a mid-level three-star recruit in the class of ’18, ranked by the 247 Sports Composite as the No. 45 outside linebacker in America. Measuring in at 6-foot, 235 pounds, he surpassed 70 take downs in each of the last two seasons, leading the Rebels with 75 in the ten-game 2021 season, including seven against Kentucky at Kroger Field, the setting for his current Twitter profile picture. Don’t worry BBN, he did much worse damage at Death Valley.
— Jacquez Jones (@ESPN_Jac) June 8, 2021
The SEC recently lifted the intra-conference transfer rule, allowing Jones to play right away for the Wildcats. A true senior this fall, the COVID-19 waiver could give him two years of eligibility.
Kentucky needs Jones ready to roll in September. When the 2020 season ended with a victory over N.C. State in the Gator Bowl, Mark Stoops and Brad White expected Jamin Davis to return for one more season. Instead, he turned into a first round NFL draft pick. Just before his name was called by Roger Goodell, the next man up was lost for the season when D’Eryk Jackson suffered a torn Achilles.
DeAndre Square enters his fourth season in Lexington playing the Will linebacker, with former four-star recruit Jared Casey prepared to spell him for significant snaps. Michigan State transfer Luke Fulton and top 50 recruit Trevin Wallace are solid options at Mike linebacker, but their inexperience at an injury-position was a concern that needed to be addressed. By adding a proven playmaker, the Wildcats have solidified the middle of the defense and turned a question mark into a strength.