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Kentucky’s Darian Kinnard sees plenty of promise in Central-Phenix City alum Josh Jones
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Kentucky’s Darian Kinnard sees plenty of promise in Central-Phenix City alum Josh Jones

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BIRMINGHAM — Former Central-Phenix City offensive lineman Josh Jones is working toward being an SEC offensive lineman sooner rather than later.

Jones faced an usual true freshman season at Kentucky last season due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he spent his first fall with the Wildcats learning the ropes. While Jones did not appear in a game during his redshirt season, fellow lineman Darian Kinnard has liked what he’s seen from the up-and-comer.

Kinnard spoke about Jones on Tuesday during SEC Media Days. While the senior noted the 6-foot-6, 336-pound redshirt freshman is still young, he applauded what he’s seen from Jones through the early part of his career.

“[He’s a] young guy. He works hard. The mentality when Josh Lyman was here and ingrained in all of us was work hard and bust your butt. That’s exactly what he’s doing,” Jones said. “He’s a good athlete, and I can see him playing pretty soon. He’s got to keep working, and he’s a very competitive guy.”

Jones came to Kentucky after showing out during his high school days.

Jones transferred to Central from Carver-Columbus (Ga.) and wasted little time in establishing himself as one of the state’s top linemen. He and future Alabama lineman Javion Cohen took care of business up front for a Central squad that put up 37.1 points per game and reached the Class 7A state title game for the second straight year.

Jones’ play earned him All-State first team honors alongside Jones and fellow teammates EJ Williams, PJ Ramsey and Mike Harris.

Jones had scholarship offers from 13 other Division I teams — including LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee — but committed to the Wildcats in June 2019.

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