There were few expectations for anyone playing football at Liberty High when the Wentzville area school began its program four years ago.
Thanks to senior players Nick Follmer and Brian Jones, the chance to play college football is no longer a dream, but a definite possibility for future players.
Follmer and Jones both signed to play football and continue their education at the collegiate level during National Signing Day three weeks ago and for both, it is the realization of a lot of hard work and dedication coming to fruition.
“It’s a surreal feeling for me and everybody that signed” Follmer said. “Obviously, being the first D-1 that signed is pretty cool and coach [McMillen] feels that I’ve set an example for all the younger kids in the program.”
Jones is equally thrilled to be moving onto college on the football field and in the classroom.
“It’s a great feeling,” Jones said. “I think the fact that Nick, who signed with Central Michigan, and I are setting a great foundation for other kids that want to play at the next level.”
Hockey was Follmer’s first sports love, but he realized around eighth grade that his older brothers were a lot better at it and that led him, at the urging of his father, John, to try football.
Jones played football and basketball when he was younger, but his focus to play basketball as his primary sport changed when he got to Liberty.
“About my junior year, I realized that I really thought I could do something with football and I decided to do that instead [of basketball],” Jones said.
After playing his freshman and sophomore years, Follmer, who, by then, was about 6-3 and 280 pounds, started to catch the attention of college coaches, having attended the University of Missouri Scouting Combine that summer.
“That’s when I started to think that maybe I could play in college,” Follmer said.
Follmer is slated to play an offensive tackle spot at Central Michigan this fall.
Jones, who starred the past four years at Liberty as the Eagles top wide receiver, will be looking to get playing time as a tight end at Division-II Washburn University in Kansas.
He is looking forward to the position switch and the chance to play at Washburn.
“There is going to be a difference in blocking defensive ends that are bigger than me instead of blocking corners that are smaller than me but I think I can handle the adjustment,” Jones said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity. It’s a blessing.”