SWAINSBORO, Ga. (WSAV) – The Swainsboro Tigers have had a historic season thus far, reaching the semifinal round of the state playoffs with a 12-0 record.

If Swainsboro defeats Irwin County on Friday night and wins the Class A, Division I state title, it would be the first undefeated year in the program’s more than century-long existence.

DeMello Jones has been a big reason for the program’s success.

Jones, a multi-position standout in the Class of 2024, has been a revelation for the Tigers, rushing for 1,078 yards and 17 touchdowns on just 96 carries.

He’s also established himself as a receiving threat, hauling in seven touchdowns on 11 receptions and averaging 30.3 yards per catch.

DEMELLO’S OFFERS

University of Georgia extended Jones an offer on Nov. 18 after he gained 198 all-purpose yards against Screven County and scored two touchdowns. He paid a visit to UGA for their final game of the regular season last weekend against Georgia Tech.

This came just six weeks after UNC offered Jones in early October; the Tar Heels were the first Power Five team to do so. South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida State and UCF have all followed suit and offered him within the last month.

UAB, Georgia State and Middle Tennessee are just a few of the Group of 5 teams that have also offered Jones.

DEMELLO’S COACH, SCOTT ROBERTS, WEIGHS IN

“He’s a freak athlete to start with, but he’s an even better kid. He takes care of business in the classroom, he works hard all offseason. He goes from sport to sport, he plays basketball and is a state champion in the 4×100 in track.”

“Kids enjoy being around him. There’s no jealousy of him because he’s such a good kid.”

“We’ve gotten him the ball everywhere. When Ty Adams got hurt, we moved into quarterback and he made some big plays there. We’ve gotten him the ball at running back and we’ve gotten him the ball at wide receiver.”

“Any way we can get the ball in his hands, we try to do it.”

DEMELLO’S BEST FIT

Roberts’ assessment of Jones as a player that can make things happen with the ball anywhere is dead-on.

In just the past few weeks, Jones has scored touchdowns off of direct shotgun snaps, draw handoffs and go routes, just to name a few. His natural speed and vision would make him an asset to any offense with zone run concepts.

The potential for Jones to develop as a route-runner is also intriguing. Swainsboro does not pass the ball a lot; they’ve done so on roughly 10 percent of their offensive plays this year. One could easily imagine Jones improving enough with added reps to become a slot receiver or a potent third-down, pass-catching back.

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