Buffs land hard-nosed runner

The Colorado football program is in need of running back with a little size and attitude to gain the tough yards in short-yardage situations. The Buffs need a back who can run someone over. They might have found their man in North Carolina.

CU hasn't signed a player from North Carolina since former coach Chuck Fairbanks signed two in 1981. That streak will be broken on national signing day in less than two weeks when Trea (pronounced TREY) signs his letter of intent to be a Buff.

Trea Jones visited Boulder last week without a scholarship offer from CU or any other Division I program. But he loved what he saw beneath the Flatirons and immediately accepted when the scholarship offer was made during his trip.

"I really enjoyed my visit," Jones said. "I fell in love with the program and the coaching staff. I liked how close they were and how everybody on the coaching staff was down-to-earth and easy to approach and talk to. I think I needed that, playing football for the next four years."

Jones said his mother came with him on the trip and she was impressed with the academic reputation of the school and the coaching staff making performance in the classroom a priority.

"I think what really sold her was the academic stuff they have for the football players," Jones said.

Perhaps, the best news about Jones joining the program is that he is a solid student and isn't expected to experience problems with CU admissions or the NCAA. He wants to pursue a business degree at CU. In other words, he's a player Buffs fans should be able to count on being involved and in the hunt for playing time next fall.

Jones says he is 5-foot-11 and fluctuates between 190 and 195 pounds. He hopes to add some more weight and strength in the next few months as he prepares to officially join the program.

Jones played in a run-oriented offense at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School in Wake Forest, N.C. During his senior season he carried the ball between 20 and 30 times a game. He describes himself as a hard runner who embraces contact.

"I always finish runs," he said. "That's probably one of my strong points. I always finish my plays and finish my runs good."

He ran for 1,651 yards as a senior and scored 17 touchdowns. He was named player of the year in his conference.

"I think I run with a lot of power," he said. "I've got good break-away speed, but I think I can improve my speed. I always want to get faster. That's one thing I'm going to work on is getting a little bit faster."

Colorado began recruiting Jones last summer when his high school coach came to Boulder to work one of CU's summer camps, Jones said. His high school coach delivered film of the running back to CU coaches, who then began recruiting Jones. He is the 18th known commitment in the 2010 CU recruiting class.

Jones said he is excited to be able to play in the Big 12 Conference. He grew up in Atlantic Coast Conference country but said he watches plenty of Big 12 games on television and considers the Big 12 a better conference.

"I'm really honored to play in it," he said. "I'm ready."