The Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
Jeremiah Rose was maybe the best offensive player on a bad team last year.
Now, he’s so much more. He’s a talented receiver who’s capable of taking over a game. He’s a vocal leader on the field and he’s an emerging threat on defense as a man-to-man cornerback.
In the high octane passing attack that the Port Neches-Groves Indians run, he’s also the perfect complement to the scheme because of his versatility.
“He’s finally got the speed of the game figured out,” PN-G head coach Brandon Faircloth said. “He’s seen all the different defenses and knows the offense. He’s got all the answers without us telling him. He’s one of our few two-way guys and we’re going to lean on him to win games. He works extremely hard in practice. He’s one of our captains.”
Last season, Rose caught 64 passes for 684 yards and four TDs in his first varsity season. He’s continued that pace this season, catching 11 passes against Silsbee in Week Zero and contributing on three PN-G touchdowns.
Rose did everything he could to get noticed last season, but circumstances conspired against him thanks to a bad win-loss record. This season, Rose is using his matchups against state-ranked teams and highly recruited defensive backs to garner more and more attention.
After the way he beat University of Texas commit Armanti Foreman in the Texas City scrimmage and the way he got open so consistently against Silsbee, he’s already well on his way.
“I’m trying to prove myself,” Rose said. “I want to prove how good I am against better opponents. Against Texas City, there was a kid going to Texas, so I wanted to prove myself. West Orange-Stark has a corner going somewhere, so I’m looking forward to proving myself then, too. I’m very competitive.”
So many factors go into a receiver’s success. The coaches have to call the right plays. The quarterback has to make the right read and throw a catchable ball before a receiver can even get noticed for his play.
On some teams, Rose might also get smothered out of the game plan by the opposing defense. Some big-time receivers get double- or triple-teamed off the line as the defense forces the rest of the offense to beat them.
That’s not the case with the Indians, though. Rose is highly productive, but so is the rest of the offense. Plus, teams will find it hard to key on Rose, since he’s constantly shifting between the four receiver positions PN-G has on the field.
“We move him around,” Faircloth said. “He doesn’t always play the outside guy. He plays all four receiver spots. We had a guy when I was at Permian that we did that with. He’s always moving around the formation. Now, they can’t key on him. That’s part of our third down plays is where to put him.”
One of the challenges Rose faced this year was taking on the leadership mantle from last year’s senior class. Rose admitted that he has struggled to be more of a vocal leader in practices, but that it gets easier for him to encourage his teammates once the Friday night lights go on.
“I’ve had to become more of a leader now,” Rose said. “Last year, I let the seniors be the more vocal ones. Now, this year, it’s me so I’ve taken that role. It’s mostly as a vocal leader. I usually don’t talk a lot, but the coaches have told me to be more vocal. I usually like to lead by example, but I try to help the offense out more by being more vocal. I think I’m more vocal on game night than during practice.”
Then there’s the defensive experiment Rose is undergoing this year.
Well, calling it an experiment is a bit much. Though he didn’t play defense last season, Rose went both ways in each of his previous football seasons, so he’s right at home on defense.
In fact, the senior relishes the physical parts of his position, making tackles on defense and blocking well on offense.
“I played both ways as a freshman and on JV,” Rose said. “Last year was the only time I didn’t play defense. I like playing there. I like tackling people instead of just blocking them. I also like blocking. That’s how big runs break is by blocking downfield.”
Rose has many goals for this season. He wants to continue to perform well against high-level competition and to help his team win more games than it did a year ago. But, one of those games looms larger than the rest and has since it ended last season.
“I was interviewed the other day and they asked me for my goals this year,” Rose said. “My first one was to beat Nederland. That’s for sure a goal. I have plenty of friends over there. We’ve been talking since last year. It’s motivating.”
INDIAN INKLINGS: The son of Schwanna and Reginald Rose, Jeremiah would like to play football professionally in the future, but is also considering a career in the medical field. … Rose said that he’s had preliminary talks with many colleges already, including SMU, TCU, Lamar and Texas State. … Rose needs just 25 more regular season catches for 100 in his PN-G career. He’d make the third Indian receiver under Faircloth to top that mark, following Jayce Nelson and Amir Jalali. … Rose had two tackles at cornerback against Silsbee for the Indians. Linebacker Michael Hughes led the team with nine tackles while Corbin Coy and Blaine Peveto each had a pass breakup.