Countdown To Kickoff: Columbia Tigers
Tigers feature at least four Division I committed players on their roster
COLUMBIA, Fla. (WCJB) - Success on the gridiron is never guaranteed. It must be earned every season.
For the Columbia Tigers, the first step in the right direction happens in the offseason.
“Winter conditioning, spring practice, and even our summer workouts, our guys have really bought in,” said Columbia Head Coach Demetric Jackson. “Gelled together, understand what we expect from all of our players and I’m just excited to see what this season brings knowing that the guys have put the work in.”
After going 7-5 in Jackson’s first year at the helm of his alma mater, the Tigers are poised for a deep playoff push.
“They came in late last year, so they had to fit everything in at one time,” said Tigers senior safety Amare Ferrell. “But since we got a whole year this year, you know, we can tell the difference from last year already, that we on the right track.”
Columbia boasts at least four players committed to Division I schools.
“I think we definitely have some talent on this team. Probably the most talent I’ve ever had as a coach,” said Jackson. “We feel that we also have a coaching staff. We just need to put it all together and make it work.”
One of the key pieces to that puzzle is Tyler Jefferson. The senior signal caller, committed to Central Michigan, was under center last season for the Class 1A State Runner-Up, Hawthorne, but transferred to Columbia this offseason.
“We were mainly a run dominant offense first, and that got us all the way to the state championship, but for my senior year, I definite said I wanted to throw the ball more,” said Columbia senior quarterback Tyler Jefferson. So, coming over to Columbia I knew they had quite a few weapons I could throw the ball to and really be able to air it out.”
The weapons, Jefferson speaks of, come in the form of Boston College recruit Tray Tolliver, and Florida State commit Camden Frier. Frier transferred to Columbia from Suwannee after the 2021 season. Defensively, the Tigers rely on senior safety Amare Ferrell, who’s committed to Indiana, and senior linebacker Jaden Robinson. Robinson just committed to the Florida Gators.
“I would say the connection’s been great,” said Tigers safety Amare Ferrell. “Everybody welcomed me with open arms. Everybody was ready for me to get here, get involved in the team and start that chemistry and start that building process.”
The Tigers will put all the preseason hype to the test when they open their season against State Semifinalist Buchholz on August 25.
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