By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Chris Jones was a basketball player switching schools. Two years removed from a promising prep career on the court at Nettleton, Jones has evolved into a monster defensive end at Houston.
The 6-foot-7, 270-pound senior will be switching schools against next season, too.
Until an impressive 40-time at a June camp at Mississippi State, he flew under the radar.
“I was swapping coaches, moving to different schools,” Jones said of his low-lying status. “At the camp, I just played my hardest and did everything to the fullest.”
MSU took him right off the radar at the June 11 camp after he ran a 4.7, 40-yard dash that caught a lot of attention before he committed to Dan Mullen.
Jones said he lost 20 pounds after the transfer. He played in only six games as he worked to establish residency but led the Class 4A Toppers in tackles per game with 9.4 and had five sacks.
Jones and the senior group have set a goal and it’s a big one. Houston has never won a playoff game and they want to change that. The Toppers went to the postseason last year for the sixth time.
“We’re going to see what we can do to change that,” first-year Houston coach William Cook said. “That’s the seniors’ goal, to win a playoff game and host a playoff game.”
Giving up his last season of high school basketball isn’t in his plans. He’s not even sold on giving it up in the Southeastern Conference.
He played in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star basketball games in July. Last season, he averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game.
“I’m going to try out basketball there but if it doesn’t work, I’m just going to leave it there,” Jones said. “Basketball was my first love but I seem to be better in football.”