Watch Lists Continue for Jones
East Carolina junior inside receiver Isaiah Jones is one of 39 players named to the initial 2015 Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List according to an announcement by the organization Wednesday. Jones is the second Pirate in the three-year history of the award to be named to the watch list following Shane Carden, who was a two-time semi-finalist (2013 and 2014). For Jones, it is his third preseason designation this year, which includes the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player in major college football) and the Fred Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver in college football regardless of position) Watch Lists. Last year Jones started nine of 13 games hauling down a team second-best 81 passes for 830 yards (10.2 ypc) with five touchdowns. He also added 485 return yards (477/KOR, 8/PR) finishing his sophomore campaign with 1,315 all-purpose yards. In the season opener against N.C. Central, Jones established new career standards with 10 catches for 150 yards, which included a 41-yard TD pass from Hardy in the second quarter. The Austin, Texas native has posted three 100-yard receiving efforts on the year (150/NCCU, 116/UNC, 130/SMU), while adding his second career double-digit reception game against UConn (10) in league play. During his two-year career, Jones has caught 143 passes for 1,434 yards (10.0 ypc) with 10 touchdowns in 26 career games (17 starts). So far this year, six Pirates have been named to eight preseason watch lists (13 collectively), surpassing the previous high of five players in 2013: Zeek Bigger (Chuck Bednarik Award, Dick Butkus Award, Rotary Lombardi Award), J.T. Boyd (Rotary Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy), Ike Harris (Rotary Lombardi Award, Outland Trophy), Jones (Fred Biletnikoff Award, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, Paul Hornung Award), Montese Overton (Dick Butkus Award, Rotary Lombardi Award) and Bryce Williams (John Mackey Award). The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award recognizes the top offensive player in Division 1 football who also exhibits the enduring characteristics that define Earl Campbell: integrity, performance, teamwork, sportsmanship, drive, community and tenacity; specifically tenacity to persist and determination to overcome adversity and injury in pursuit of reaching goals. In addition, the nominee must meet one or more of the following criteria: born in Texas and/or graduated from a Texas High School and/or played at a Texas-based junior college or four year college. The Watch List announced will be narrowed down to 16 semi-finalists in November and then to five finalists in December by selected broadcasters, commentators, journalists, fans, and the previous winners. Finalists will be brought to Tyler for The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Awards Banquet scheduled for January 13, 2016.
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