High School: Sandalwood (Florida)
After making solid contributions on special teams during the 2014 season, Jones saw his number called more on defense in 2015 – eventually becoming the first-team unit’s starting corner.
Jones logged seven starts, recording 25 tackles, one sack and five pass breakups. Jones also had two interceptions, his first against Rutgers and his second against UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl.
After putting on nearly 15 pounds of muscle from when he first set foot on campus, the former Florida prep just looks like a Big Ten starting corner.
Jones’ confidence is sky-high after his eventual rise to a starting spot last season. So when was his light bulb moment? It was against Miami on the road. The Huskers’ secondary was struggling with the long ball not only in the game, but the prior two contests. Thrown into the fire, Jones played a deep throw downfield perfect, resulting in an incomplete pass.
“It built confidence. I knew I could do this,” said Jones. “My spot could be taken anytime. So I act like I’m one of those young guys coming in. Even though I’m in a position where I’m starting, I want to be better than I am.”
Jones says the spring was about improving his technique and playing the ball better. He also feels it is a time for him to grow as a leader.
“I would to be a leader. I want to step up and take the role. I see guys make mistakes and I want to correct them,” said Jones. “I want to make sure things are going right.”
Now the spring didn’t go without its challenges. Jones missed the Red-White game and a few practices with an infection in his thigh – it required surgery. We don’t’ expect it to hurt him when it comes to the depth chart.
“I’m pretty excited about Chris,” Nebraska defensive backs coach Brian Stewart told reporters, including the Omaha World Herald. “I think those starting two (also Joshua Kalu), they’re doing a good job. They’re giving us everything every practice, and their intensity has been what we wanted.”
It might not happen this year, but Jones has the talent to be an all-conference corner in the Big Ten. He’s that good.
How he ended up in Lincoln Brace yourself; Jones’ recruitment was one that needs to be graphed out to fully understand.
As a senior, Jones originally committed to South Florida. He then flipped on the USF decision and committed to Purdue in mid-December of 2013. While he appeared to be solid, teammate Desean Blair started to show interest in Nebraska, which sparked Jones’ desire to check it out. A day after visiting Lincoln, he committed to the Huskers. Jones was a recruit of former defensive coordinator John Papuchis.
“My overall impressions were it’s a great school, great coaches all around, and was just a really good visit,” said Jones at the time. “The coaching and players are really what stood out the most to me. I feel like I could fit. It’s the perfect fit. The defense is very aggressive and that’s the type of cornerback I am.”
The former Scout.com three-star prospect was considered a steal in the 2014 class. He recorded 32 tackles while intercepting four passes his senior year.