By Kelby Goodman, Special Contributor
Number: #25 | Hometown: McKinney, TX | Height: 6000 | Weight: 200 | Forty: 4.44E | Class: 2018 (Junior)
When you are nicknamed the “Texas Tesla” one must be impressive—he certainly lived up to the billing in 2017. The USC back is the definition of a homerun hitter, as he hits the second and third level of a defense very quick. He had at least one 20-yard run in eight of his 12 games played in 2017, including rushes of 37, 86, 67 and 52. It was not just blocking paving the way to these runs—he has shown the ability to make defenders miss and then leave them in his wake. Despite his frame, he had impressive yards after contact and if you go high on him he’ll shake free more times than not. His biggest question mark will be in the pass game, both receiving and protecting, as he was not asked to do much of either. He finished 2017 with just 14 catches for 187 yards. He’ll also have to work on getting more production staying between the tackles, as he likes to bounce his runs outside. With the speed of NFL defenses, it may not be as productive relying heavily on speed. While watching his film, he showed some flashes of Jamaal Charles with his straight-line speed, along with his ability to find a hole and go. (Photo: Star Local Media)
2017: Ran for a team-best 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns. Jones averaged 5.9 yards per carry in his junior year.
2016: After making quite an impression with his record-breaking showing in 2015 as a rookie, Jones was made an even bigger impact as a sophomore tailback in 2016. Overall in 2016 while appearing in all 13 games and starting the final 6 regular season games, he ran for a team-best 1,082 yards on 177 carries (6.1 avg) with 12 TDs and had 11 caches for 76 yards (6.9 avg) with 1 TD. His 1,082 rushing yards in 2016 marked the 29th time a Trojan eclipsed the 1,000-yard season rushing mark and ranks 27th on USC’s season list. He had 4 100-yard rushing games in 2016, all in the last 5 regular-season contests. He ran for a TD in each of the last 7 games and had 4 multi-TD games in 2016. He made the 2016 Campus Insiders Sophomore All-American honorable mention, All-Pac-12 second team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second team. He won USC’s 2016 Jack Oakie “Rise and Shine” Award (most electrifying run).
2015: Jones made an immediate impact as an often-used backup first-year freshman tailback in 2015. Overall in 2015 while appearing in all 14 games, he had a team-best 987 yards on 153 carries (6.5 avg) with 8 TDs and 7 receptions for 39 yards (5.6 avg) with 1 TD. He joined LenDale White as the only true freshmen to lead USC in rushing in a season (White did so in 2003). His 987 rushing yards broke Heisman Trophy winner Charles White’s 39-year-old USC freshman season rushing record (858 yards in 1976). He was 18th nationally in yards per carry (6.5, second in Pac-12). He made 2015 All-Pac-12 honorable mention and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third team.
Track: He sprinted briefly for USC’s track team in the spring of 2016. In his only appearance, he ran the third leg on USC’s victorious 400-meter relay team in the UCLA Dual (the quartet clocked 39.89).
High School: He made 2014 Prep Star All-American Dream Team and USA Today All-Texas as a senior running back at McKinney (Tex.) North High. He ran for 2,009 yards (8.4 avg) with 28 TDs as a senior in 2014 … As a junior in 2013, he ran for 2,406 yards (9.9 avg) with 39 TDs … He had 520 rushing yards (7.2 avg) with 9 TDs as a 2012 sophomore. He had 4,935 yards (8.9 avg) and 76 TD on the ground in his 3-year career … He also sprinted for McKinney North’s track team, with bests of 10.37 in the 100 meters (he won his district championships in 2015) and 21.98 in the 200 meters.