I guess, In terms of national size and stature, we live in a sleepy community, but the amazing part is this is exactly the kind of community that great sports stars are developed and found.
The rise of the internet, coupled with the extensive list of burned-out ex-minor leaguers and retired old duded like me, has created a ‘team of experts’ that hunt out just about every top football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, and pick-up-stickers at every high school in the nation.
The ‘top dawg’ for years around here was ex-Clemson football star Wayne Simmons, who rose from our local school system and ended his career with the Green Bay Packers. It only took you one look at this guy and you know he was going to go all the way.
So, is the same, with Jarrell ‘J-Bone’ Knighton.
The stats this past year at Hardeeville High School are incredible. 9 Games, 170 carries, 1,256 yards (7.4 yds. per carry), and 11 TDs. This included a 209 yard rushing days against Nations Ford, a 4-A school, when he was just 14 years old! The last game of the season was truly his best, rushing for 241 yards and 3 TDs. In fact, as a 15 year old, he ran for a combined 546 yards and 8 TDs in his last 3 games, which doesn’t include the 100+ yards he ran that were called back because of penalties.
The individual games speak for his consistency:
Game 1 : Hilton Head Prep - 6 carries for 105 yds. 1 TD
Gane 2: Estill : 4 carries for 70 yards
Game 3: Wagener-Salley - 20carries for 163 yards
Game 4: McCallie Prep - 8 carries for 15 yards
Game 5: Christ Church - 23 carries for 148 yards - 1 TD
Game 6: Nation Ford (4A) – 28 carries for 209 yards - 1 TD
Game 7: Dixie - 26 carries for 150 yards - 2 TDs
Game 8: McCormick - 30 carries for 155 yards - 3 TDs
Game 9: Southside Christian - 25 carries for 241 yards - 3 TDs
Blake Raley, Head Coach of the Hardeeville Hurricanes, said, “Knighton has all the potential of the world. It’s up to him now.”
Raley, 27, will coach his 3rd season come 2008, and was the coach of the Middle School before that. Before moving to our area, Blake coached 2 years in Alabama.
As of today, Knighton is 1 of 1 ‘underclassmen prospect material’ in Jasper County, South Carolina. Don’t forget this name. You will be watching him on Sundays some day soon.