Colquitt County, a football program considered to have a legitimate chance of contending for the 2015 USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 national title, was dealt a significant and stunning blow on Friday when superstar running back TyKerious “Grump” Jones was charged with murder.
The charges against Jones stem from an incident on July 5, when Jones and six other teens allegedly attempted to rob 68-year-old John Hester at gunpoint. Hester died in the altercation, and the seven teenagers were eventually identified and charged. While Jones was the only member of the current Colquitt County squad, two of the others charged — I-Key Pinkins and Brandon Wynn — were recent graduates who were part of the 2014 state champion and Super 25 squad.
When reached by the Moultrie Observer, Colquitt County head coach Rush Propst, a celebrity in the high school football world from his time on the MTV show Two-A-Days, called the incident, “a very tragic, very sobering situation,” and said that Jones had been indefinitely suspended by the program while authorities investigate the crime.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hester family and everyone affected by this crime,” Propst told the Observer. “A lot of these kids end up in trouble. That’s why we push getting (football) scholarship so much. It’s so important for these kids to get out of Moultrie. … This just so sad, for the Hester family and for kids who subject themselves to things that are not positive in their lives.”
There’s no question that Jones was expected to be a major part of the Colquitt County team in 2015, with the rising junior slated as the replacement for 2014 superstar Sihiem King, who is now at the University of Kentucky. Now the team has just five weeks before the start of the regular season to identify Jones’ replacement, all while competing on the fly; the team is taking part in a regional-wide 7-on-7 tournament in Birmingham from Thursday evening through Sunday this weekend.
“We expected great things from him,” Propst told the Observer. “We thought he’s be about a third of our offense. He’s a difference-maker.”
Jones exhibited that ability whenever he was on the field in 2014, averaging more than 10 yards per carry and producing highlight reel plays like this touchdown:
Difference maker or not, Jones now has much more significant issues to focus on, with a lengthy prison sentence potentially in the offing.