RB Makes It Official

Homestead (Fla.) South Dade standout running back Charlie Jones has known for several months where his college destination was going to be. On Sunday, he made it officially known.

"I just got tired of all the calls and everything," Jones said. "I just thought it was the right time. It's out on the Internet now. I'm committed to Miami."

Jones, 5-foot-10 1/2 and 200 pounds, struggled through an injury-filled senior season.

"Coming off last year when I had over 1,500 yards I was ready for a big year," he said. "It just didn't happen that way. We were really a rebuilding team at almost every position. It sucks that it happened my senior way but that's the way it goes. We got really thin at certain positions. We had a wide receiver playing (offensive) tackle. We had a fullback at guard. Then with my injuries. I had the foot injury almost all year. Then my other shoulder (opposite from the one he had operated on after last season) started bothering me a lot after the Coral Reef game."

Jones knows that former Hurricane greats Edgerrin James and Willis McGahee also played through injury-filled senior years in high school.

"When I was out at UM today, they were telling me that I now have nine months to get ready and to be healthy," he said. "I will be. I know I will be."

That process may have to speed up tremendously if Jones is able to do something he wants to do.

"I want to try and graduate early," he said. "I already have 24 credits, which is enough to graduate. I just need two core classes that I'm taking now. I'm gonna talk to my dad about it and go to my counselor tomorrow morning. If I can do it, then I'm going to."

One of the major reasons why Jones, who finished the season with 719 yards and three touchdowns, wants to graduate early is so that he can join the race for the starting tailback spot going into next season.

"I dont know if Frank (Gore) will be ready so the main competition will be Tyrone Moss," he said. "He'll have the edge because he's been there but I'm going to make him have to earn it. If I can get in there for spring, I can challenge him all spring and summer. I'll be out there for all the practices (in the spring) but it won't be the same if I'm playing. We run the same offense they do at UM. I know I can make a quick transition and that seems to be what's holding Moss back right now."

The talented running back, who will not take any other visits, was at the Orange Bowl on Saturday.

"I can't believe they lost like that," he said. "Their quarterback was really struggling. He made a few mistakes that cost them the game. They'll be alright though once they get some experience and some more running backs. They have the talent. They'll be back."

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