ROWLAND — Leading into high school football practice starting on July 30, The Robesonian’s sports staff is publishing a countdown of the top 15 players in Robeson County, and South Robeson’s Jamearos McLeod comes in at No. 8 on the list.
Coming off of a season in which he earned all-county honors, the rising junior will continue to play a key role in head coach Clay Jernigan’s run-first offense.
“Jamearos has worked really hard,” Jernigan said. “He’s coming off an ACL injury, and he’s done exactly what the doctors told him and he’s kept working. We expect big things out of him.”
After the graduation of offensive leaders Darius Wright and Darrius Brown, McLeod is carrying more responsibilities this season. Jernigan said he he expects him to take on a leadership role in the backfield.
McLeod likes what he’s seen out of his teammates so far.
“We’ve got the ones from last year stepping up and hitting the weight room really hard, and the young ones watching us and learning,” McLeod said.
With rising senior Marqice Murphy anchoring the offensive line, McLeod has an opportunity to help the Mustangs improve after they finished 3-9 last season.
“Our biggest strength is our offensive line because they’ve been hitting the weight room really hard,” McLeod said. “After we finish practice, they take time to run down-and-backs so they have more energy, so they won’t get tired.”
McLeod said he is maintaining his high expectations for his team this season despite losing a talented senior class.
“We lost about four players that were great, but I think we’re going to do better,” he said. “We’re going to have to step up this year.”
Jernigan said McLeod is the team’s strongest weightlifter. The running back hopes that work in the weight room will translate to a run in the postseason.
“We’re trying to make the playoffs and get a championship ring,” McLeod said.
The Mustangs will have their first opportunity to chase those goals when they begin their season at Union on Aug. 24.