The Clemson family has become an integral part of the powerhouse that is Clemson football and the culture that head coach Dabo Swinney has built within the program in his 14-season tenure. For Patrice Jones, the mother of Clemson cornerback Sheridan Jones, the Clemson Family took on a whole new meaning this past weekend.
The single mother of three, who hails from Virginia, made the move from their hometown of Norfolk to her new stomping grounds in Charlotte, N.C. this past weekend, but the Virginia native did not make the move alone. With the help of two of her sons, Kennedy and Sheridan, their friend Malachi, and Sheridan’s teammates Taisun Phommachanh, Jalyn Phillips, and Ruke Orhorhoro, Mrs. Jones was able to move into her new Charlotte home with a few extra arms as well as some familiar faces along the way.
“Kennedy is the last of my three boys to head to college,” Jones told The Clemson Insider. “He will be attending UNC Greensboro in the fall on a baseball scholarship. I’ve been a single mother for 18 years as a result of my husband passing away [from a seizure] when our youngest was two months old. Moving to Charlotte will allow me to be closer to Sheridan and Kennedy. It’s important to me that they continue to be supported in every aspect. I’ll be close, but not too close where they don’t have to continue to mature and begin making adult decisions.”
For Mrs. Jones, having her sons Kennedy and Sheridan there along with a few of his teammates meant the world to her and truly speaks to the type of young men they are and the true meaning of the Clemson family.
“The Clemson family is truly something special. Our family is small, but my children and I are extremely close,” Jones said. “As a mother, it is very important to have a level of comfort with respect to who my son would be spending time with and learning from.
“I remember visiting Sheridan one weekend and we went to church. Jeff Davis came to me after the service and said that he wanted me to know that Sheridan and his roommates attended church regularly on their own and it wasn’t something he was doing just because I was in town. The coaches have never left any of my questions unanswered. Kim Reed is the best second mom to Sheridan! Kathleen Swinney always greets me with a hug and a smile!”
While Virginia will always be home for Jones and her family, she is excited to be closer to her family and even got a taste of the Palmetto State rivalry while unloading the moving truck at her new home.
“The first thing to come off the truck was the Clemson garden flag! My son Kennedy put it right beside the mailbox. I walked over to the neighbor’s house to make sure that they were okay with the truck being there for a little while. I hadn’t met any of my neighbors until then.
“The young man said ‘I’m leaving, so if you guys need the space, it’s cool. But I can’t help but notice that Clemson flag. That’s not staying, is it?’ He had on a South Carolina Gamecocks hat. I said, ‘It sure is! And let me point out some of the Clemson football players for you.’ I pointed them out and named them. Then I told him that my husband’s best friend used to play football for the Gamecocks. I told them his name and said, ‘It’s all love.’ [That’s when I knew] OK, now I’m gonna love my new place!”
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