Jones nearing end of transition

Cayleb Jones has finished sitting out his year due to transfer rules and is ready to contribute. Read on for more about the transfer, why he is excited for next season, and more.

Although Arizona's season is yet to be completed and a bowl win over Boston College would give the Wildcats eight wins for the second year in a row, it seems that the intrigue of the 2014 season has already started to snowball.

One of the reasons for this is the plethora of talent that will be joining the team from high school, will be returning from injury, or become eligible.

Wide receiver Cayleb Jones is one of the few talented players that will have his eligibility reinstated next fall after sitting out the 2013 season after transferring from Texas.

"It was tough at first," Jones said. "It was a very humbling experience for me. I had a lot of fun every day with Davonte (Neal), Conner (Brewer), and a few other guys on the scout team."

Heading from Austin to Tucson wasn't easy for Jones. There was a period of adjustment, but he eventually got over it and has enjoyed his time in the desert.

"It was a big adjustment for me," he said. "It was a much different place. I only really knew two people, Conner and Davonte. It is just a totally different environment with West Coast guys and different coaches.

"At first it was hard, but now I feel like I've been here for two years. I love it here. I love the people here at Arizona. They have been treating me well."

Jones had a few problems that prompted his exit from the University of Texas, but he found a new home at Arizona. He had a fellow Longhorn that had opted to transfer to the Wildcats just weeks before, but also had a strong relationship with the coaching staff.

"Conner was big, but the biggest draw was Coach Rod and Coach Dews," Jones said about his decision. "They understood what I had been through and they were very open. They said, ‘that's what you've been through in the past and we are here to help you build you're future and help you grow as a person and be successful.'"

During his time on the sidelines, Jones has been able to get in some extra work in the weight room and was able to find himself on the football field, something that he wasn't quite able to do at Texas.

"I have gotten a lot stronger and faster," Jones said. "I have been able to really regain that confidence that I didn't have as a freshman at UT. As a freshman, coming into a program, it is hard to go against veteran guys. It was tough, but coming in here, I just worked on my craft and really got my confidence back, so I feel comfortable."

One of the upperclassmen has been out the entire season with an injury, but has been able to be a mentor to the younger receiver.

Austin Hill has missed the year with a knee injury, but spent time with Jones, teaching him up on plays and skills.

"Austin has been great," he said. "Austin has been able to contribute a lot mentally. He tells me I can do this better or to take this step. I have watched a lot of his film from last year. Being out here with someone who has been so successful is great."

The redshirt sophomore is talented and believes in his abilities on the football field. He wasn't able to show what he could do at Texas, but he hopes to get the opportunity to do so as a Wildcat next season.

"I can get open and catch the ball," Jones said when asked about his strengths as a receiver. "I can provide a good target for the quarterback. I feel like I can adjust to a lot. I've been through a lot off the field and on the field. I'm a good leader in and out of the huddle."

Over the course of the season, Jones has had to sit on the sidelines and watch his team play in games. He was on the scout team with several of the other redshirting players, including quarterback Anu Solomon and running back Pierre Cormier. Jones finds that they often talk about how well the team will do next season.

"Every day, we always talk about (next year)," he said, "As games go on, we always see plays and I say, ‘I could've made that,' or Austin says he could've made that. He says this corner did this or that last year. It's exciting to look forward to the future and know what we are going to be able to do."

Even though his transition has come to an end and he will be challenging for a starting position when the spring comes around, the receiver still sees one thing about the Arizona Wildcats that stands out to him.

"Guys are hungry here," Jones said. "They want to prove themselves. Coming here and not knowing much about Ka'Deem Carey and seeing how he plays compared to guys back home, it is crazy. Just to see the different talent out here in the Pac-12 is great.

"It is a very hungry program. The coaches are hungry as well. There are a lot of things that we are going to do that are going to shock a lot of people."


Wildcat Authority Top Stories