|Height: 6-3 | Weight: 210 | College: Lane|
One of the best-kept secrets in the collegiate ranks, this former track and basketball star was a late bloomer on the football field. He did not begin playing organized football until his junior year in high school, and actually began his college career on a track scholarship at Southeastern Louisiana before transferring to Lane College in 2003.
Because of his commitment to the other two sports, Jones missed considerable off-season experience with the football team. He decided to concentrate strictly on improving his receiving skills and improving his strength before the 2006 season. The progress he made was evident. He increased his bulk by close to 20 pounds while maintaining that blazing speed that made him a kickoff return threat as a junior.
Jones would go on to earn All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors at three different positions (receiver, punt returner, kickoff returner), in addition to picking up SIAC MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honors during his final season. The All-American pick ranked fifth in the nation in all-purpose yardage and became the first SIAC player to lead the league in five different categories in the same season (all-purpose, kickoff returns, punt returns, receptions, yards receiving).
At Marion Abramson High School, Jones excelled in track as a sprinter, earning All-Area and All-Parrish honors. He was a receiver and defensive back his final two seasons on the football team and also excelled in basketball.
He attended Southeastern Louisiana in 2002 on a track scholarship, but decided the following year that he wanted to try his hand at football. He enrolled at Lane College, where he was thrust into the lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2003. He went on to catch 36 passes for 677 yards (18.8 avg) and seven touchdowns.
In 2004, Jones split his time at Lane College, lettering in track and football while also appearing briefly in one game with the basketball team. He clocked personal bests of 10.28-seconds in the 100-meters and 21.3 in the 200-meters. On the football field, he led the team with 46 grabs for 664 yards (14.4 avg) and five touchdowns, adding 158 yards on 11 kickoff returns (14.4 avg) and 45 yards on seven punt returns. He also excelled on special teams, where he registered four solo tackles and blocked three kicks to earn All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference second-team honors.
Jones continued to play all three sports in 2005. He was a first-team All-SIAC choice, as he ranked 12th in the nation with an average of 175.3 all-purpose yards per game. He again led the team with 50 receptions for 587 yards (11.7 avg) and three touchdowns, picking up 62 more yards on nine carries (6.9 avg). He threw a 65-yard pass for a score, set school and SIAC records with 931 yards and two touchdowns on 42 kickoff returns and averaged 9.6 yards on 18 punt returns to finish with 1,753 all-purpose yards. He also made one solo tackle and returned a fumble recovery 45 yards.
After the football season, he joined the 2005-06 basketball team, starting 16 of 28 games. He averaged 8.3 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, adding 25 steals, four blocked shots and 14 assists. After the basketball season ended, he joined the outdoor track team, where he competed in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, finishing sixth at the SIAC Finals with a 10.89 clocking in the 100-meters.
Football became Jones' sole priority over the summer, and he showed up for August camp sporting close to 20 more pounds of muscle. He was the SIAC MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2006, leading the league with 68 catches for 822 yards (12.1 avg) and six touchdowns. He averaged 22.3 yards with two scores on 38 kickoff returns and 13.8 yards with a touchdown on 24 punt returns. He added 89 yards and a score on nine carries (9.9 avg) and even saw action on defense, making two tackles and assisting on a sack while amassing 2,089 all-purpose yards.
Jones started all 43 games that he appeared in at Lane. He caught 200 passes for 2,750 yards (13.8 avg) and 21 touchdowns while rushing 22 times for 147 yards (6.7 avg) and a score. He returned 49 punts for 548 yards (11.2 avg) and a touchdown, adding four scores on 91 kickoff returns for 1,937 yards (21.3 avg). He also completed all three pass attempts for 105 yards and a touchdown, recorded seven tackles (six solos) with an assisted sack for minus-eight yards and blocked three kicks. He finished his career with a school-record 5,380 all-purpose yards.
Positives: Worked hard before the 2006 season to add needed bulk to his frame, putting on an additional 17 pounds without it affecting his overall quickness Has exceptionally long arms and excellent leaping ability to consistently win jump ball battles Has a tight waist, good hip snap, well-developed thighs and calves Spent considerable time in the coaches' office before the 2006 season reviewing game film and working on his route running technique, showing much better ability to get off the line of scrimmage as a senior than he did in the past Long strider who has that angular, sprinter's burst, but it is a rapid stride with quick feet and excellent change of direction agility Elusive runner after the catch who shows good effort to compete for the ball in a crowd (was much more physical attacking the ball in 2006 than in previous seasons) Has improved his strength needed to break tackles and flashes explosive game speed Is sometimes late off the snap, but it is more a timing rather than a speed issue, as he has the ability to explode out of his stance, but must be conscious of the pre-snap Uses his long reach and hand punch to defeat the jam and also has the quickness and burst to force defensive backs to come out of their backpedal too early Runs crisp routes, keeping his pad level down to square in his patterns and has the spin moves needed to turn around and frustrate his coverage assignment Has the feet and plant-and-drive agility to separate instantly on his cuts Runs posts and slants well and understands stems, sticks and level, but still needs to work on showing more consistency in transition Quick to locate the soft areas on the field to sit down in and finds seams and avoids defenders well in the open Showed improvement in adjusting on the quarterback scramble and has the second gear needed to elude after the catch Separates out of his breaks cleanly and can run past his opponent on deep routes (must improve transition cuts, though) When he keeps his pads down and head on a swivel, he can turn on the afterburners to turn a short pass into a big gain Has very small hands that could be a concern, but knows how to extend and catch outside the frame-work Learned how to set up his moves and ride up on the defender better in attempts to separate during 2006 Alert to the quarterback scramble and works back to the ball quickly Times his leaps well to go after jump balls and has the body control needed along with the slide to catch the ball in his frame Has improved his strength to the point that he can consistently run through arm tackles, showing the savvy moves needed to elude Willing blocker who still needs technique refinement, but gives effort and knows how to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball Must be more patient waiting for blocks to develop, but has that explosive straight-line burst to consistently be a threat on returns Has also proven to be a capable kick blocker His field awareness and vision greatly improved in 2006, as he had only four passes deflected by the opposition, compared to 25 the previous season.
Negatives: Has improved his overall strength, but needs to develop a stronger hand punch, as he tends to get good placement, but lacks power when trying to punch and lock out the defender as a blocker Will compete for the ball in a crowd, but could be much tougher working his way to the ball Has excellent quickness, but sometimes takes a rolling start off the snap, making him late to get into his route progression Needs to improve his ball concentration when working in close quarters, as he tends to hear the defender's feet and the result is he will not always come down with the ball Has very small hands, but worked hard to use his long arms and utilizes a finger-grab technique to secure the ball (lets the ball into his fingers rather than the palm of his hand) Shows good urgency to separate on short routes, but sometimes gets turned trying to look the ball in over his outside shoulder on deep throws Needs to maintain position and shoot his hands quicker when asked to block along the line His small hands and lapse in concentration have led to several costly fumbles in recent years (eight of nine fumbles recovered by the opposition) and he needs to secure the ball better before turning up field.
Compares To: KASSIM OSGOOD-San Diego Much like the Chargers' special teams standout, Jones will need time to develop at the next level, but there is no question that the athletic talent is there. Even though he played vs. lesser competition, he continued to show progress throughout his career. He has only five years of football experience, so he will need time to grasp the playbook, but in the interim, he can bring instant value as a return specialist. He could be this year's second-day draft steal.
Jones is the only player in school history to score via a reception, rushing attempt, punt return and kickoff return in the same season (2006) Along with his touchdown pass in 2005, he is the only player in Dragons history to score in five different categories in a career Became the first Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player to earn All-SIAC honors at three positions (receiver, punt returner, kickoff returner) in the same season (2006) and was also the first to lead the conference in five different statistical categories in the same season (2006 -- receptions per game, yards receiving, kickoff returns, punt returns, all-purpose yardage) Holds the school career record with 1,937 yards and four touchdowns on kickoff returns Also holds the school single-season record with 931 yards on kickoff returns in 2005 Became the first player in Lane annals to catch 200 passes in a career During his last two seasons, 66 of his 118 receptions produced first downs, converting 24-of-45 third-down and three-of-five fourth-down opportunities.
All-American first-team selection as an all-purpose back, adding second-team honors as a kickoff returner and honorable mention as a receiver from The NFL Draft Report All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first-team choice, adding SIAC Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors Started all year at the "X" receiver position, leading the team and ranking 29th nationally with 68 receptions for 822 yards (12.1 avg) and six touchdowns Gained 89 yards with a score on nine carries (9.9 avg) and completed his two pass attempts for 40 yards Returned 24 punts for 330 yards and a touchdown, leading the SIAC and ranking twelfth in the nation with a 13.8-yard average Led the conference with 38 kickoff returns for 848 yards (22.3 avg) and a pair of scores Also saw action on defense, recording two tackles with an assisted sack for an 8-yard loss Ranked fifth in the nation and led the SIAC with a school season-record 2,089 all-purpose yards (189.9 ypg) Of the 96 passes targeted to Jones, only four were deflected, but he turned the ball over on fumbles four times in his last five games 41 of his 68 catches were good for first downs, converting 16-of-24 third-down and 1-of-2 fourth-down opportunities Thirteen of his receptions were for 20 yards or longer, as he had big plays that set up nine touchdown drives and two others that resulted in field goals.
|2006 Game Analysis|
Lincoln Opened the season with ten receptions for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 87 yards with a 58-yard score on four punt returns and 51 yards on two kickoff returns Broke free from three defenders to race 58 yards with a punt return for a touch-down with 8:56 left in the third quarter Finished a 71-yard, 7-play second quarter series with a 16-yard touchdown grab Started and ended a 10-play, 79-yard drive, as he snared a seam pass for a 46-yard gain and then caught a second-&-goal lob from QB Joshua Harris for a 6-yard score with 5:13 left in the game Head to Head Competition-CB#10-Terrence Wilson-Six tackles (2 solos), an 11-yard sack, one pass deflection.
St. Augustine's Snatched five passes for 67 yards, including a 35-yarder on third-&-13 to keep an early fourth quarter drive alive Added 62 yards on six punt returns, but did not gain any yardage on two kickoff returns Head to Head Competition-CB#6-Fritz Charles-Two tackles, one pass deflection.
Morehouse Jones gained 74 yards with a touchdown on four catches and 69 yards on a pair of kickoff returns He also ran for 22 yards and completed a pass for a 27-yard gain
In addition, he saw some action on defense, assisting on a sack Midway through the first quarter, Jones took a pitch-out from Sherard Ellis and then fired a 27-yard pass to the quarterback, but the drive stalled when Jones dropped a fourth-down toss from Ellis
With 5:14 left in the opening frame, Jones assisted Deshawn Carter in sacking QB Carlos King for a 16-yard loss at the Morehouse 31 He staked the team to a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter when his 22-yard reverse set up Ellis' 4-yard scoring run with 4:45 left in the first half With just 1:03 remaining before halftime, Jones went into the locker room after catching a 36-yard scoring strike from Ellis His 59-yard kickoff return to start the third quarter set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Ellis Head to Head Competition-CB#25-Christian Williams-Four tackles (3 solos).
Concordia Jones was held in check most of the day, picking up 9 yards on two catches and 23 yards on four kickoff returns, but his 44-yard reverse set up a Lane 45-yard field goal midway through the first quarter Head to Head Competition-CB#1-Sherman Black-Three solo tackles, an interception, one pass deflection.
Clark Atlanta Jones wasted no time getting the scoring activity going, returning the game-opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown in just ten seconds, finishing with 164 yards on four kickoffs, but lost one yard on two carries and 9 yards on a pair of punt returns Also snared five passes for 74 yards, including a 29-yard third quarter score on a third-&-5 toss from Sherard Ellis Head to Head Competition-CB#4-Christian Wise-Four tackles (3 solos), one stop for a 3-yard loss.
Stillman College Followed with 90 yards on nine receptions, adding 66 yards on four punt returns and 66 yards on three kickoff returns Caught a 5-yard swing pass from Sherard Ellis, but fumbled the ball and it was recovered by cornerback Denatay Heard at the Stillman 17 early in the first quarter His 38-yard punt return set up a 1-yard scoring run by Ellis in the fourth quarter With 0:11 left in the game, Jones caught a 16-yard pass that set up the team's game-winning 23-yard field goal in a 24-21 decision Head to Head Competition-CB#5-Denatay Heard-Seven tackles (6 solos), a fumble recovery.
Kentucky State In the team's first loss of the 2006 season, Jones grabbed nine passes for 72 yards and returned three kickoffs for 49 yards while making a solo tackle and completing a 13-yard pass. He also ran for a 24-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, but lost one yard on a punt return Early in the fourth quarter, Jones tackled Courtney Reed after the defender returned an interception 20 yards Head to Head Competition-CB#16-Mike Long-Six tackles (4 solos), a fumble forced.
Miles College Despite gaining 231 all-purpose yards, Lane had his hands filled trying to combat cornerback Grant Bennett. Jones picked up most of his yardage (163) on five kickoff returns, as he had three catches for 71 yards and a 12-yard punt return His 34-yard game-opening kickoff return set up a 222-yard touchdown run by QB Sherard Ellis, as Jones snared 19 & 20-yard passes to aid that 8-play, 64-yard drive Bennett tackled Jones for a 1-yard loss at the Lane 47 on an early second quarter reverse. On the next play, Bennett stripped the ball from Jones on another reverse and the defender recovered it at the Lane 22 Head to Head Competition-CB#22-Grant Bennett-Seven solo tackles, four pass deflections, a forced fumble that he recovered.
Fort Valley State Jones exploded for 312 all-purpose yards, hauling in ten passes for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He returned six kickoffs for 93 yards and four punts for 67 yards while adding 11 yards on a reverse He beat a pair of defenders to snatch a 37-yard scoring strike from QB Sherard Ellis at the start of the second half Jones set up Ellis' 25-yard touchdown pass to Edward Williams on the team's next drive by returning a kickoff 44 yards Later in the third quarter, Jones turned the ball over for the third time in four games when he fumbled a punt return at the Lane 39 and Fort Valley recovered it to set up a 34-yard scoring toss from Nathaniel Samas to Chauncey Hall with 2:37 left in the frame
Jones made up for that miscue on an 8-play, 80-yard fourth quarter drive, as he grabbed a third-&-10 toss from Ellis for a 15-yard gain, followed by an 11-yard reverse and then a 20-yard touchdown snatch Jones finished the day with seven first-down catches, converting three third-down plays with three grabs for 20 yards or longer Head to Head Competition-CB#31-Eddie Young-No tackles.
Benedict College Jones made four catches for 43 yards and returned a punt 12 yards, adding 97 yards on three kickoff returns, including a 74-yard touchdown near the end of the first quarter On a third quarter 8-yard kickoff return, Jones fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Benedict's Carl Spellman at the Lane 30 Head to Head Competition-CB#3-Terry Richardson-No tackles, one pass break-up.
Tuskegee Closed out his career with 163 all-purpose yards, picking up 73 yards on four kickoff returns, 34 yards on a punt return, 4 yards on two carries and 52 yards on seven receptions Midway through the second quarter, his 34-yard punt return set up a 1-yard scoring run by QB Sherard Ellis His next kickoff return was good for 35 yards, setting up Ellis' 28-yard touchdown pass to Edward Williams with 0:27 left in the first half
Jones earned All-SIAC first-team honors as a kickoff returner and second-team accolades as a receiver Started all ten games at split end, leading the team with 50 receptions for 587 yards (11.7 avg) and three touchdowns Carried nine times for 62 yards (6.9 avg) and completed his only pass attempt for a 65-yard score Returned 42 kickoffs for a school season-record 931 yards and two touchdowns Added 173 yards on 18 punt returns (9.6 avg) and 45 yards on an advanced fumble recovery Also recorded one solo tackle Of the 96 passes targeted to his area, 25 were deflected by the opposition, as Jones also lost two of three fumbles 25 of his catches produced first downs, as he converted 8-of-21 third-down plays and 2-of-3 on fourth-down Had seven receptions for 20 yards or longer and caught 3-of-6 throws to him inside the red zone Had big plays that set up eight touchdown drives and five others that ended with field goals.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Saint Augustine's College Jones began the season with 19 yards on four catches, adding a 24-yard reverse that set up a second quarter 29-yard field goal Also returned three kickoffs for 39 yards Head to Head Competition-CB#20-Ivan Diggs.
Stillman College Snared five passes for 111 yards, setting up a 23-yard field goal with a 25-yard catch early in the third quarter Had a 32-yard kickoff return followed by 15 & 8-yard grabs to set up a 10-yard scoring toss from QB Sherard Ellis to Edward Williams later in that quarter His 52-yard reception in the fourth quarter gave Justin Miranda the field position needed to kick a 26-yard field goal Head to Head Competition-CB#27-Wariqus Prude.
Fort Valley State Lane snared eight passes for 94 yards and a score, adding a 15-yard punt return, a 4-yard reverse and four kickoff returns for 89 yards Turned the ball over when he fumbled a 34-yard pass from QB Sherard Ellis and Junior Taliaui recovered the ball for Fort Valley later in the first quarter Snatched a 9-yard touchdown pass from Ellis in the third quarter and returned a kickoff 42 yards at the start of the fourth quarter Head to Head Competition-CB#22-Cedric Ware.
Albany State Set a school game-record with 203 yards on seven kickoff returns, including a 86-yarder on the Dragons' first play of the game that Lane returned for a touchdown Added 33 yards on three punt returns, 33 yards on three receptions and 4 yards on three carries, finishing the day with 273 all-purpose yards Head to Head Competition-CB#14-Marcus Jefferson.
Clark-Atlanta Was held to 37 yards on five catches, but gained 96 yards on three kickoff returns Head to Head Competition-CB#7-Justin Hill.
Kentucky State Bounced back with seven receptions for 99 yards and a 19-yard score Returned three kickoffs for 61 yards and three punts for 45 yards His mid second quarter 50-yard catch set up a 25-yard scoring strike from QB Sherard Ellis to Marcus Moore Head to Head Competition-CB#25-Courtney Reed.
Miles College Fumbled once and gained just 28 yards on five catches, but one was a 6-yard scoring grab Returned six punts for 62 yards and two kickoffs for 29 yards On the second quarter opening kickoff, Jones coughed up the ball, but Lane's Virgil Union recovered it On the next series, Jacoby returned a punt 44 yards to set up his 6-yard touchdown catch that ended the 48-yard, 8-play drive Head to Head Competition-CB#20-Brian Green.
Morehouse College Added 95 yards on five receptions, 12 yards on two punt returns, 14 yards on a reverse and 59 yards on seven kickoff returns Turned the ball over when he fumbled a kickoff early in the first quarter, setting up a Morehouse 20-yard field goal
Snatched a third-&-2 toss from Sherard Ellis to set up Justin Miranda's 13-yard field goal with 0:27 left in the first half Jones also fired a 65-yard touchdown pass to Virgil Union in the second quarter Head to Head Competition-CB#25-Johnny Eubanks.
Tuskegee Made four catches for 52 yards and returned eight kickoffs for 185 yards, including 41 & 45-yarders Tackled Brandon Hooks on a 13-yard punt return late in the fourth quarter Head to Head Competition-CB#15-Lee Smith.
Benedict College Recovered a fumble by QB Sherard Ellis that Jones advanced 45 yards, adding 19 yards on four catches, 9 yards on a reverse and 138 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 95-yard touchdown Head to Head Competition-CB#4-Larres Curry.
All-SIAC second-team selection Started all eleven games at split end, leading the conference with 46 receptions for 664 yards (14.4 avg), as he totaled five touchdowns Lost 6 yards on four reverses, but gained 45 yards on seven punt returns (6.4 avg) and 158 yards on eleven kickoff returns (14.4 avg) Recorded four solo tackles and blocked three kicks Amassed 861 all-purpose yards.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Virginia Union Opened the season with a 72-yard scoring reception.
Stillman College Added 111 yards on five catches, including a 52-yarder that set up a fourth quarter 26-yard field goal, adding 10 yards on a reverse and 32 yards on a kickoff return.
Fort Valley State Had four receptions for 75 yards, scoring on a 47-yard pass from Kenneth Irby in the third quarter.
Clark-Atlanta Grabbed seven passes for 78 yards and blocked an extra point attempt
Snared touchdown passes of 25 yards in the second quarter and another 25 yards in overtime, but was the culprit that forced the game into overtime when he fumbled away the ball at the Lane 44 with 0:06 left in regulation, making up for it with his game-winning 25-yard touchdown grab in overtime.
Kentucky State Made five catches for 74 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown and blocked an extra point try at the start of the fourth quarter.
Miles College Hauled in a career-high eleven passes for 102 yards and recorded a solo tackle.
Benedict Had two catches for 48 yards and blocked a 27-yard field goal attempt late in the second quarter.
Moved into the lineup at split end, catching 36 passes for 677 yards (18.8 avg) and seven touchdowns during his first season at Lane College.
No injuries reported.
Campus: 4.49 in the 40-yard dash 2.58 20-yard dash 1.52 10-yard dash 34-inch vertical jump 7 1/2-inch hands Right-handed 18/30 Wonderlic score.
Combine: 4.53 in the 40-yard dash 1.65 10-yard dash 2.66 20-yard dash 4.31 20-yard shuttle 7.03 three-cone drill 34-inch vertical jump 10'9" broad jump.
Joined the basketball team after his football sophomore and junior seasons Appeared in just one game, logging seven minutes while making 3-of-4 free throws during the 2004-05 season Started 16 of 28 games at Lane College during 2005-96, averaging 8.3 points, as he snared 139 rebounds (5.0 avg) with 14 assists, 44 turnovers, four blocked shots and 25 steals Was successful on 45-of-98 field goal attempts (45.9%) and 18-of-34 field goals (52.9%) that year.
Originally enrolled on a track scholarship at Southeastern Louisiana in 2002, but due to academic issues, he transferred to Lane College in 2003 Handled 100- and 200-meter dash duties for the Dragons Clocked personal bests of 10.28 in the 100m and 21.3 in the 200m Finished sixth in the SIAC 2006 Outdoor Finals in the 100 meters with a clocking of 10.89.
Attended Marion Abramson (New Orleans, La.) High School, playing football for the first time as a junior Competed two seasons for head coach Jerome Woods All-Area selection in basketball Also an All-Area sprinter in track, competing in the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Interdisciplinary Studies major Born 7/11/84 Resides in New Orleans, Louisiana.