Signing Day: Mean’, nasty’ Knight signs with W.Va. State
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Cabell Midland senior Kurt Jones wasted little time in deciding to play his college football at West Virginia State, the same school that didn't show any interest prior to December.
"I didn't get a single thing from the old coaching staff actually," said Jones, an offensive guard and tackle for the Knights. "I got a lot of looks from D-II, and the Midwest, but State came out of nowhere.
"Like a thief in the night. One minute, nothing, then the next thing you know, I'm signing there. It's pretty crazy."
Jones is part of the first recruiting class for first-year Coach Jon Anderson who received signed letters during Wednesday's Letter of Intent day.
Anderson was hired in December to jumpstart the struggling program.
His plan was to reach a lot of West Virginia prep players and establish an identity with some of the top talent in the Mountain State.
Jones is on that list, as is St. Albans running back Drew Kirby.
Playing guard for Cabell Midland, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Jones played his first two seasons under Coach Chip McMillian and his last two under Coach Luke Salmons.
During his junior and senior seasons, Jones' Knights were 4-2 in the playoffs, reaching the Class AAA title game where they fell to Martinsburg.
Under Salmons, Jones said Cabell Midland practiced like a college team and prepared like a college team.
"He runs a college workout plan, he does everything exactly like college football," Jones said of Salmons. "There are a lot of us going to play college football and none of us will be surprised about anything."
Anderson, whose offense will be run by former Southeastern Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Scott Courter, said he's not concerned about how much the team will run or pass the ball, but insists on being "big and strong" up front.
Jones said that won't be a problem as far as he is concerned.
"I'm coming from the best offensive line in the state at Cabell Midland," Jones said. "We all pretty much came out of the woodwork and are big, physical, nasty guys. Last year, I got thrown out of a game, which I regret, but it shows we're nasty.
"We're mean, too."
Last year - Courter's sixth with Southeastern Oklahoma State - the Savage Storm averaged 223 yards rushing and 184 yards passing per game.
Jones didn't give a stock answer about whether he would prefer to run block or pass block, or play at guard or tackle, since he has played every position on the offensive line.
He "loves" to pull, so guard would be the ideal position.
However, what he's really looking forward to is being part of the beginning of a new era at State.
"It's very cool," he said. "Things are starting to look up. I might be part of the first class to come in there and look back when I'm 30 and say that I helped start the program again ... that I was in Coach Anderson's first recruiting class. It's very special."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at email@example.com or 304-348-4837.