Ricky Jones enjoys coming out party

Indiana wide receiver Ricky Jones had a huge day on Saturday, something he's been waiting a long time for.

Ricky Jones has hardly had an easy career at Indiana. It hasn't been ideal, and it's been far from normal.

But Jones has worked hard to earn his day in the spotlight, a day that finally came in Indiana's season opener on Saturday. Three years after suffering a broken ankle that ended his freshman season and caused him to rethink his long-term role with the Hoosiers, Jones finally had his coming out party in IU's 48-47 win over Southern Illinois at Memorial Stadium.

Jones had six catches for 186 yards and a touchdown in the win, including a 71-yard bomb from quarterback Nate Sudfeld on Indiana's eventual game-winning drive. Indiana coach Kevin Wilson actually opted to run that same play two times in a row because he didn't think Sudfeld gave Jones enough of a look the first time. When they ran it again, it worked to perfection.

Jones streaked down the left side, Sudfeld threw it out in front of him toward the middle of the field, and Jones ran under it like a wily veteran. He went down at the 1-yard line, and running back Jordan Howard scored on the very next play.

"I don't take credit for calls, but 'hey, thanks,'" Wilson joked.

Jones, who had caught a grand total of four passes in his IU career entering Saturday, is counted on to be a leader in a group of inexperienced wide receivers even though he is something of a rookie himself. On Saturday, he led in the best way possible: By example.

"I've been waiting for this for a long time, since my freshman year," Jones said. "I took the opportunity I had and I felt like I converted on it. But I've got to bring it again next week.

"It's been great. It's awesome, I love it. This is why I came here to play. I came here to be a leader, stand out, and be great. It's all been coach Wilson and the team."

Watch Jones' postgame interview with reporters in the embedded video player below.

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