"After carefully reviwing my decision with my family and my coaches, I have decided to declare myself eligible for the NFL Draft," Jones announced. "It is an extremely difficult decision, especially after the bowl game.
"Morgantown has become my home away from home, and it is hard to leave home. I want to thank Coach Rod, Coach Gibson and Coach Bird for all they have done for me."
At that point, Jones had to stop to collect himself, as the emotion of the moment got to him.
"I want to say thanks to West Virginia for becoming a better person for myself, my family and my coaches. And last but not least the fans of West Virginia - the best college fans in the country."
Jones received a "first round" grade from the NFL advisory council - the highest of five potential grades for those entering the draft.
"Coach Rod felt that if I had a first round grade and it was best decision for my family I should make it," a tearful Jones said. "Me being the only father figure [in my family], the family situation had a lot to do with it. It was not an easy decision."
Jones also said he planned to continue his education and get his degree from WVU.