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Akelo Stone: “Jumbo Athlete”

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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Stone would end his junior campaign with 71 tackles, five sacks two FR’s, 2 FF’s and a team leading 21 tackles for loss.

“This guy just loves to compete not only in games but in practice every day."
~Stone's HC Jason Cameron

Last year Savannah (Ga.) Jenkins was blessed with an explosive offense that averaged over 410 yards per contest. But in 2018 they would be without Javonte Middleton (Citadel), Tyrone Scott (Central Michigan) and Ameen Stevens (Lenoir-Rhyne). Middleton accounted for 2,648 yards of offense, Stevens rushed for over 1,900 yards and Scott caught 58 passes for 1,131 yards. This dynamic trio accounted for 54 of the 60 touchdowns scored in 2017.

What would Head Coach Jason Cameron do to continue the Warriors unprecedented success in 2018? Thankfully Jenkins was blessed with a junior class of defenders unmatched by any other program in the Greater Savannah Area. One of the defensive standouts that Cameron would rely on was 6-foot-3, 235-pound jumbo athlete Akelo Stone.

“This guy just loves to compete not only in games but in practice every day,” Cameron said. “He has a contagious personality and is very likeable as a person. His enthusiasm carries over to his teammates and those people around him. We simply need more guys like him on our team.”

Stone would end his junior campaign with 71 tackles, five sacks two FR’s, 2 FF’s and a team leading 21 tackles for loss. As a defensive unit the Warriors finished the season with an amazing 111 tackles for loss and 40 sacks, doubling the defensive production from the previous season.

In the end a defensive led Warrior squad would make school history by reaching the GHSA-AAA Quarterfinals for the second consecutive year. This  dominating defense pitched four shutouts while rendering just 11.2 points per game.

“We played Stone at nose and defensive end throughout the season; he has a great get-off and he can really shoot the gaps,” Cameron said. “He may be the best all-around athlete on our team. He can run routes and catch the ball; he can even throw the ball and play quarterback for us in a pinch. He is just so versatile and his ceiling is very high.”

Recently Stone picked up his first scholarship offer as the Bulls of South Florida made their intentions known. He is also receiving heavy interest from Duke, Georgia Southern, North Carolina State and UCF. Three schools he would like to hear more from are Clemson, Georgia State and Miami.

“I believe he could be a three-tech or a run stopping defensive end in college,” Cameron said. “Some colleges believe he can put on another 40 pounds and play inside or just stay around 245-pounds and be that speed rusher. His frame allows for endless options at the next level.”

Cameron is not the lone coach to recognize Stone’s potential. Recently he was selected to the prestigious Rising Senior’s Junior Bowl. This All-Star Game annually produces some of the top prospects in the Peach State.

This past spring Stone attended camps at The Citadel, Georgia State, South Carolina as well as hitting the Mercer and LaGrange satellite camps. This coming camp season he would like to attend camps at Clemson, Miami and NC State; he admits to having affection for pretty much every school in the ACC and AAC.

Though he used to play basketball, Stone plans on taking part on the Warrior Track Team. He plans on participating in the 400-meters, 800-meters and shotput. His main goal for the distances is to improve his 40-time and become more athletic.

Academically Stone carries a 3.1 core GPA and is on a fast track to meeting the NCAA required 16 core classes. At the end of this semester he will have already accrued three math requirements, four language arts, three sciences while having already completed three semesters of Spanish.

This past season Stone saw action at defensive end, defensive tackle, inside linebacker and tight end but he knows his primary responsibility is to create mayhem in the offensive backfield. His ability to rush the passer and dominate the line of scrimmage will be pivotal for the Warriors success in 2019.

“In order to win the Region we will have to beat Benedictine and the only way to do that is to stay disciplined,” Stone said. “We have to start early hitting them hard from the get-go. I’ll have to take advantage of my quick first step and use violent hands.”

But it’s more than just winning the Region that Stone and his teammates have on their minds. In order to make the coveted trip to the Mercedes Benz Dome the preparation must take place now!

“I will have to lead in the weight room and in the classroom,” Stone said. “It’s important to set the standard high for the younger players. We set it high this past year and now we have to surpass those accomplishments.”

Having seen Jenkins in action this season, I can attest that they have talent on both sides of the ball and prospects that can play at all levels in college. This is a must stop for college coaches looking for difference makers, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They not only pass the eyeball test, they produce in the trenches.