Pegues’ Offensive Production, Abilities Earn E10 Honors
If there is one thing that people in Lafayette County associate with the name “Pegues," it is pure athleticism.
Many players that have held that name have been hailed as heroes of Oxford High School on the gridiron throughout the past decade, the most recent being 2020 ATH Jeremiah “J.J.” Pegues. Recently, he added something else to an already extensive list of accolades tied with the name.
Pegues was named the fourth member of the 2019 SES Mississippi Elite 10 on June 24. He joins Jack Abraham, D.K. Metcalf and Quentin Wilfawn as Oxford Chargers to be among this elite company.
"It’s a blessing to be named one of the best seniors in the state," Pegues said of being named to the E10. "I couldn’t have done this without all of the support from my family, friends, and coaches."
“I am so proud of all of J.J.’s accomplishments," Oxford head coach Chris Cutcliffe said. "He is very deserving of this honor. J.J. is the total package both on and off the field; he is truly a Charger for Life. We’ve had several players included as part of this prestigious list in previous years, and I know J.J. is proud to carry on this legacy."
Standing at 6’3” and 250 lbs, he draws similar comparisons to a 2015 E10 member Octavious Cooley (Laurel) as far as his size and play style. However, unlike Cooley, Pegues is a threat in just about every position on the offensive side of the ball.
As a freshman in 2016, Pegues was called up to the varsity ranks to start midway through the season primarily as a blocking tight end. He was able to open up massive holes for Hiram Wadlington en route to a 1,000 yard rushing campaign and a 2nd round playoff berth. His role would increase the following season.
Pegues exploded onto the scene with several big plays to spark a remarkable second half comeback that just fell short against the eventual 6A North Champion Starkville Yellowjackets. From that point on, Pegues filled in a much needed gap on the receiving end while occasionally being asked to pound his way forward for short yards and touchdowns. It was a great breakout season, but unfortunately his team was the victim of a tiebreaker and missed out on the playoffs despite going 8-4 overall and a 4-3 region mark. Pegues finished with 659 all-purpose yards and six TDs.
In 2018, Pegues was forced to carry a massive offensive load due to the departure of several key skill players from the previous season and multiple injuries on the offensive line. Therefore, the Chargers found many different ways to get Pegues the ball and make things happen. They used a cannonball type offense to allow Pegues to plow his way into the end zone while still allowing him to force a mismatch out wide. He also showed that he can deliver in the clutch at quarterback with two touchdown passes to defeat Desoto Central midway through the year.
At season’s end, he had 631 all-purpose yards for 14 total touchdowns despite being sidelined four weeks with a knee injury. The Chargers finished 9-3 and were just 12 minutes away from being 6A Region 1 champs.
Despite all of this, the best may be yet to come for Pegues. With the majority of the roster back from a year ago and their experience, Pegues is poised to put Oxford in the 6A title conversation for the first time in four years.
The Chargers open up the 2019 season at Bobby Holcomb field against Northwest Rankin on Aug. 23.