Josiah Bailey quickly surveys the defense seconds before the snap. Moments later he swiftly breaks off his route to the sideline and snags the pass near the boundary before sidestepping a helpless defender and sprinting towards the goal line. It’s something all too familiar to Kellis High School opponents over the past couple years.
When Bailey isn’t making people miss on offense, he’s making sure he doesn’t do the same on the other side of the ball as one of the Cougars’ starting cornerbacks. His rise in production has coincided with the success of the program. Kellis finished 9-2 in 2016 after going just 3-7 the year before.
“I like the swagger that you have to have as a defensive back,” the senior said to Sports360AZ.com during a recent 7-on-7 competition at ASU. “But I love making plays on offense. It’s just so fun. I love offense more because that was my first position.”
Kellis is certainly loving the fact their top receiver and overall skill player will be back in the fall. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder scored 18 touchdowns and racked up around 1300 total yards last year working out of the slot. In the secondary he recorded three interceptions, had 4.5 tackles-for-loss and forced two fumbles.
“It’s too close to call,” Kellis head coach Shawn Copeland said with a grin when asked where his two-way star’s greatest strength is on the field. “We utilize all his talents but he’s a hard worker in the classroom and a hard worker on the field. We’re definitely blessed to have him.”
— josiah. (@EasyMoneyJoe) May 20, 2017
Bailey’s before mentioned success, both in football and school, has led to an offer from Air Force and heavy interest from a number of Ivy League schools including Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Cornell.
When he’s not hitting the books, you’ll likely find Bailey hitting the practice field working hard to improve all aspects of his game heading into his final prep season in the west Valley.
If it wasn’t for the struggle then I wouldn’t be me ?
— josiah. (@EasyMoneyJoe) June 7, 2017
“I’ve evolved the most at receiver,” he explained. “I have an amazing receiver’s coach [at Kellis]. I love perfecting my craft and working to get better.”
Practice makes perfect.
Nobody needs to remind Josiah Bailey.
It’s just part of what makes him such a unique student-athlete.