Position: Running Back
Location: Westlake Village, California- Oaks Christian HS
Weight: 215 pounds
Recruiting: With offers from throughout the Pac-10 as well as Notre Dame and Oklahoma, Jones had narrowed it down to Stanford, the first school to offer him, and UCLA, the local school, during the summer. He picked the Bruins based primarily on his comfort level with the UCLA coaching staff.
What to Like: Jones is a workhorse back, the guy who can be the feature back, carrying it 20 times a game. In a Norm Chow offense, he'll be used like Lendale White was at USC, as the Thunder to the Lightning that UCLA either has or will bring in. Jones is big and strong and with good speed, and while it may not wow you, he's got great "football speed" and does a good job of getting into the open field and not getting caught. He'll be the best power back UCLA has brought in since DeShaun Foster, and he'll remind many UCLA fans of Skip Hicks, making his runs look effortless and workmanlike. Plus he's a durable back, carrying the ball throughout the game, and because of his size, he wears down a defense, not unlike Foster did for the Bruins. And if for some reason running back didn't work out for him, Jones has a chance to be an elite outside linebacker, where he's been starting for three years for the Lions. More than anything, though, Jones gives UCLA an inroad at Oaks Christian, one of the best programs nationally but a school UCLA has had very little success at, and for it to be from their most elite prospect this year, it's a big plus for the Bruins and their staff.
What may be of concern: The biggest concern is his breakaway speed. As said before, his speed won't wow you, and against faster DBs in the Pac-10, he won't be able to outrun them with the ease he has been able to in high school. While his durability is one of his pluses, it will also be a concern in college in that Oaks has so often blown teams out, he's rarely had to play complete and entire games in his career. At the same time, he's played both ways, so he's still getting his share of playing time.
Overall Analysis: Jones will bring a blue collar mentality to the Bruins, and gives them that everydown back they've lacked, and craved, for years. Again, UCLA's offense uses a lot of different rotating backs, but they've had very few backs that could be the feature guy in the past decade. Jones will play early for the Bruins and will bring more toughness to the UCLA offense.