Jacquez Jones 'fits the culture' of Kentucky football

Adam Luckett08/07/21


Article written by:On3 imageAdam Luckett


Jacquez Jones
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
[caption id="attachment_354240" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Jacquez Jones - LB - Ole Miss (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)[/caption] Kentucky had a hole at Mike linebacker. The Wildcats went into the transfer portal to fix it. In June, Ole Miss linebacker announced his intentions to make an intraconference transfer and play his senior year in the SEC East with Kentucky. The Wildcats were glad to have him as he reunites with former position coach Jon Sumrall in Lexington. His returning production was much needed. In 2019, Jones became a full-time starter as a sophomore for the Rebels. He finished second on the squad with 71 tackles to go along with 7.5 tackles for loss. In nine games last season, Jones was a starter who posted 75 tackles. This transfer has played in 33 career games with 19 career starts and 182 total tackles in the SEC. The playing experience was obvious, but his personality needed to fit the roster at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. "The keyword is sort of 'solidify'," White told reporters on Friday. "I felt good about guys and their growth coming out of spring -- losing D'Eryk [Jackson] threw a little bit of a wrench in that deal and threw a wrench in sort of the depth at that position. And then you bring in a guy that has played in the SEC as well as he has, and you put him into the mix -- the thing that I can say about 'Quez is that he's been able to come in and he fits. He fits the culture, he's melded right with our guys. He loves them, they love him. It's like he's been here for a long time. That's a positive." Jones is new to the program, but the transition has been easy. That is good for the Wildcats because the strength of the team is down the middle. Marquan McCall, Josh Paschal, DeAndre Square, and Yusuf Corker are all seniors that the Wildcats need to make plays. Jones is another veteran that White can throw into the mix. "When you're strong down the middle in a 3-4 defense -- when we talk about nose guard, inside linebacker, safety -- you've got a chance to be a really good football team," said White. "You got a chance to dominate." Dominate will be the goal, but Kentucky will have to do things differently this season. Due to the makeup of the roster, expect Kentucky to use a plethora of nickel and dime packages to get their best personnel on the field. That means a lot of defensive backs to take advantage of the lack of depth on the edge. With the addition of Jones at inside linebacker, there is one less thing for the coaching staff to worry about. The Wildcats know what they'll be getting from the SEC transfer. "He fits right in," said White. "It'll allow us to have really good competition."

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