High School: Tampa(Fl) Middleton
CAREER: Highly productive, but not heavily recruited player due to grade concerns. Was on his way to Toledo until FSU swooped in late in the process. One of three Tampa area recruits in 2008(Moses McCray and Rhonne Sanderson) which set the stage for a heavy presence in the Tampa area that has yielded Demonte McAllister, James Wilder, Christian Green, and Dante Fowler.
Jones did not have a lot of opportunity as a freshmen, but did have a solid bowl game. Jones got off to a quick start in 2009, even starting three games, before being shelved for awhile. He ended his sophomore campaign with 251 yards and five TDs.
Jones entered his junior season behind Jermaine Thomas and Chris Thompson on the depth chart, but he is the most powerful of the three backs. Had 107 yards vs. Samford in the opener, but did not play much against OU. Bounced back with 95 yards vs. BYU and then 64 vs. Wake Forest.
It appeared as if Jones might get a 1,000 yards in his role. Injuries got in the way and he missed the next two games. Came back vs. BC and was clearly not himself. Time to write him off? No, went off against Maryland for 108 yards in the critical win.
Injuries once again caught up with him down the stretch as the last five games were his least productive(he did have 3 TDs vs. VT).
EXPECTATIONS: Tough call here. He is the most proven of the "bigger backs". While he does not rip off huge gains, he consistently picks up 8+ with some authority. Jones has gotten off to hot starts the last two years(is that part of plan?).
This is another example of the competition getting better at the position during a players career. He will need to hold off Devonta Freeman and James Wilder to keep those carries for the year. Freeman had an outstanding Spring.
When he has been healthy, he has been a productive back. The problem has been he can't seem to shrug off the injuries. Bottom line is that he is a proven option who at worst is valuable depth.
OVERALL: Jones was a late signee and often times these types do not work out at the highest levels of college football. Jones has worked out. He has been a valuable member of the team. He has been a productive option and really if not for the injuries he would be entering his senior season with 1,400+ yards instead of the 877 that he has.