Caledonia High School senior Logan Canerdy, seated center, poses for a picture Wednesday during a signing ceremony to celebrate his decision to play football at Jones Couynty Junior College in Ellisville. Canerdy’s mother, Tracy Canerdy Goins; his brother, Lance Canerdy; his sister, Lacy Goins; his grandfather, Jerry Steward; his grandmother, Diane Steward; and Jason Forrester, Ricky Kendrick, and Nathan Kendrick, his coaches at Caledonia High this past season, are with him. Photo by: Adam Minichino/Dispatch Staff
February 8, 2018 10:10:07 AM
CALEDONIA -- Logan Canerdy had a feeling July 29 that Jones County Junior College was the place for him.
The Caledonia High School senior lineman said something felt right about the unofficial visit he took that day to the school in Ellisville.
Then, as it often does when multiple coaches want a player, doubt crept into Canerdy's mind.
But the relationships Canerdy built with the coaches who recruited him and the work head coach Steve Buckley and his staff have done to transform the program ultimately proved too much to change Canerdy's mind.
"They hold things, I think, to a higher standard than most people do," said Canerdy, who signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at JCJC. "Like coach Buckley says, 'Academically, socially, and athletically are the three things you need to be successful in JUCO.' "
The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder had announced his intention to sign with JCJC on Twitter. This past season, Canerdy played left guard, but he also has seen time at tackle and center and at defensive end and nose guard on defense in his three-year football career at Caledonia High.
Canerdy said his goal is to go on to play football at a four-year school. He feels the improvement JCJC has made under Buckley in going from two wins in 2015 before he arrived to six in 2016 to eight this past season shows the program is going in the right direction.
"The proof is in the pudding is what people say," Canerdy said. "Coach Buckley is saying that this class is one of the best that is coming in."
Canerdy said he wanted to be part of a class that helps JCJC take the next step. This past season, JCJC lost twice to eventual national champion East Mississippi C.C. The second time came in the semifinals of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) playoffs.
Canerdy said the coaches at JCJC talked to him about possibly playing right guard, but he said he doesn't care where he plays as long as he is on the field. He feels his versatility will help him when it comes time to determine a starting lineup.
"I was sure (a day like this would come) because of the talent people tell me I have, my size, and my work ethic," Canerdy said. "It really just puts everything together. It just puts it all together for a successful career."
Ricky Kendrick, who replaced Andy Crotwell as Caledonia's head football coach for the 2017 season, said Canerdy played a number of positions on the offensive and defensive lines due to injuries.
Canerdy credited Crotwell for helping him to reach his current level of physicality. He said his former coach used to pick him up at his house when he was in the 10th grade and bring him to the school for workouts and then bring him back home.
While Canerdy's versatility was attractive to college coaches, Kendrick said Canerdy is a quality young man, too, which bodes well for his future.
"Logan is an always-here kind of guy," Kendrick said. "He is the first one in the building and the last one to believe. He gets along with everybody. He is everybody's buddy and everybody's friend.
"He is a hard worker. You don't have to ask him. You don't have to look for him. When it is time to go to work, he is ready to go to work. You don't see that a lot in today's young men. We think that is a good characteristic that he has. He is very committed. He is very tenacious about what he does. He is very dedicated. Anything he puts his hand to he wants to do a great job."
Kendrick envisions Canerdy being successful as a guard, which he did this past season in the Wing-T, or as a tackle in an offense that throws the football more because he has great feet and mobility. He also said Canerdy could play tight and because he runs a sub-.50 40-yard dash.
"He is just versatile," Kendrick said. "The top side is tremendous as far as what they will be able to do with him at the next level.
"I think the big pull with a lot of the coaches who came and talked to us is he was so versatile and able to do so many things, and able to do them well."
Follow Dispatch sports editor Adam Minichino on Twitter @ctsportseditor
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.
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