Updated: Sep 26, 2022
When Kentucky travels down to Ole Miss next weekend, both Jacquez Jones and Keidron Smith will be going up against their former teammates and coaches at the team's home field.
Returning to Oxford, the school they both left and have since become starters in Lexington after doing so, seems like it would be a major deal for one to have to go through if presented. We didn't get to speak to Keidron tonight, but Jacquez was available and we got his take on the situation.
Jacquez said it will be a "bittersweet moment" but his team is going down there for one reason and that is to come out with the win.
He also went into further detail to explain what made him hit the portal and leave the state of Mississippi and land here in Lexington. Jones said it was "really just to take my game to the next level." He elaborates and says there's no hard feeling towards his former program, but "I feel like here (Kentucky), especially in my second year that's what I'm doing and I just got to continue to work..."
Reflecting on his old coaches and teammates, "I have nothing bad to say about Ole Miss. That's the school that took me in as a young kid..." The graduate-transfer said that the main reason he decided to choose Kentucky during his transfer process goes to former UK defensive coordinator and now Troy head football coach, Jon Sumrall.
In the second video, Jacquez Jones says he probably wouldn't have been here if it wasn't for Jon. "As soon as I hit the portal and my name got cleared, you know, he was the first one in contact, coach Sumrall. Playing with him back in Ole Miss we had a relationship and I feel like he was big part in me coming here. If he wasn't here I probably wouldn't be here. I'm just going to keep it real, I probably wouldn't be here."
That speaks volumes on Jon Sumrall and explains why he's where he's at now. Well, both of them honestly and, to be clear, I'm happy with Kentucky being the landing spot for "secondary" talent of the SEC to transfer to and find their groove at. Kentucky will happily take them. We've seen it a bunch through many transfers over the last three to four years. Guys who can't seem to get it going at other programs, often in the Southeastern Conference, realize that Mark Stoops is a players-first coach and they know that he'll have their back. Most importantly, they see the change that's happening here and understand the opportunity they could have if they end up making the move here.
Jacquez has been phenomenal this year for the Wildcats, as he was named a team captain this summer, and has 26 tackles through just four games this season, coming off his season-high 12 tackles (4 solo) versus NIU.