Jones Hears Opportunity Knocking

University of Miami freshman running back Charlie Jones made a quiet entrance. Unlike Frank Gore and Tyrone Moss, who predicted they would be in the starting line-up sooner than later, Jones took a low-key approach. Jones didn't see a need to create a big stir.

"This is supposed to be a big family out here - one bad apple can spoil the whole team," said Jones, after the Hurricanes completed their first fall practice at Greentree Field in Coral Gables, Wednesday afternoon. "I'm a low-key kind of guy. If I do my job the rest will take care of itself."

And Jones might get a chance to do his thing. The former South Dade standout, who rushed 748 yards as a senior despite missing three games, could find himself with plenty of playing time come September.

With the exit of freshman running back Bobby Washington, who was not admitted by the university after some academic issues arose, the Hurricanes are in need of some help in the offensive backfield.

According to Jones the coaching staff has already made him aware that the team is taking a close look at several freshmen - Jones included - to fill the third spot behind Gore and Moss.

Jones hopes to provide it.

"Even when Bobby was here I felt that way," says Jones. "I don't think my situation has changed."

Washington may have stole some of the spotlight, but it's Jones that could have an immediate impact with the Hurricanes. The 5-11, 200-pounder is a straight-ahead runner who is also strong enough to get the tough yards in the trenches - leaving the possibility that he won't be red-shirted this season.

"I intend to play. That's my frame of mind right now," said Jones.

Head coach Larry Coker likes what he's seen of Jones, but the coach is being cautious.

"That remains to be seen. I think he can [contribute]. I hope he can because we're going to need some help from the young guys," said Coker. "Hopefully it's one of the guys - maybe two that will step up for us. I know this Charlie is going to get a chance to be in the mix."

"Charlie is a lot like Frank in that he's got good hips, a powerful lower body and I think he's going to be an outstanding running back," Coker said.

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