The consummate team player, the coaching staff took full advantage of Jones' athletic ability and versatility in 2006. He not only went on to lead the team in receptions, but he also showed a strong throwing arm for the option pass, natural hands to handle punt-return duties and an ability to keep the defenses honest by getting good yardage on the reverse. He went on to score by catching, running and throwing the ball during his final year.
Jones was the 2001 league Most Valuable Player as a senior at Gunderson High School. He was a first-team All-Central Coast Section choice and played in the 2002 Santa Clara County North-South All-Star Game. In addition to football, he lettered in basketball and track, registering a personal best of 6-foot-8 in the high jump.
Deciding to stay local, Jones enrolled at San Jose State in 2002, spending the season on the scout team. He saw minimal action in nine games in 2003, but caught only one pass for 8 yards while recording three tackles. He started six of 11 contests as a sophomore, ranking second on the team with 25 receptions for 317 yards (12.7 average) and a touchdown. He added 80 yards on 11 punt returns (7.3 avg.) and recorded one solo tackle.
As a junior, Jones started just three games but he still finished second on the team with 30 catches for 278 yards (9.3 avg.) and one touchdown. He picked up 48 yards on eight carries (6.0 avg.) and 106 yards on 20 punt returns (5.3 avg.). He also totaled five tackles (four solos) on special teams.
The second-team All-Western Athletic Conference choice was named team MVP in 2006. He led the team with a career-high 70 receptions, gaining 893 yards (12.8 avg.) with 10 touchdowns. He rushed 11 times for 76 yards (6.9 avg.) and a score and returned 11 punts for 121 yards (11.0 avg.). He also connected on 2 of 6 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.
In 44 games at San Jose State, Jones started 21 contests. He caught 126 passes for 1,496 yards (11.2 avg.) and 12 touchdowns. He gained 126 yards with a score on 24 reverses (9.53 avg.) and completed 3 of 7 passes (42.9 percent) for 58 yards and a touchdowns. Jones made nine tackles (six solos) on special teams and returned 42 punts for 307 yards (7.3 avg.).
Positives: Solidly built athlete with a lean, yet defined frame, showing good upper body muscle definition, long arms and large, soft hands … Lacks explosion off the snap but does a good job of accelerating throughout his route … Can fill in as a long snapper in an emergency … Runs with good balance and shows above average hand/eye coordination … Can make the tough catches in traffic and then run around defenders with the ball … Has a smooth, gliding running motion, but does not generate an explosive pull-away burst … Does a nice job of scanning the field to find the open area … Uses his hands well to get a push off the defender up field … Will extend and grab for the ball, showing consistent hand skills … Fights for the ball in traffic, generally coming up with it due to his determined attitude and leaping ability … Has the body control and timing on his leaps to compete for the ball at its high point … Best when utilized on hitches as he has the strength to turn a short toss into valid yardage … Makes good body adjustments tracking the ball in flight … Fluid in and out of his breaks and is alert to coverages, settling into the field's soft areas nicely … Shows good urgency getting down field as the gunner on the coverage units.
Negatives: Lacks great timed speed or a second gear to separate … Tends to look lackadaisical going for the ball at times … Needs to develop better shake moves to escape defenders at the line … Rounds his cuts and has had ball concentration lapses as he needs to be more conscious of securing the ball before running with it … Lacks a separation burst and needs to develop better moves to sell the route and surprise the defensive back … For his size, he seems too passive when it comes to blocking, lacking the ability (or desire) to sustain and finish his blocks … Takes soft angles out of his breaks and defensive backs generally stay with him through the route … Even though he has good weight-room strength, it fails to translate to the field, as he will be stopped on initial contact.
Compares To: Ben Obomanu, Seattle Seahawks … Even though he lacks blazing speed, Jones manages to get to most balls thrown his way … He is better suited for hitches and short-area routes but needs to be crisper in his open-field cuts … He is a marginal blocker and not really elusive, as he won't be one that can be used to threaten the deep secondary … However, he reads defenses well and has a knack for finding soft areas on the field.
No injuries reported.
Campus: 4.59 in the 40-yard dash … Bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times … 35-inch vertical jump … 10-foot-6 broad jump … 32½-inch arm length … 9¾-inch hands … Right-handed.
Combine: 4.6 in the 40-yard dash … 1.63 10-yard dash … 2.67 20-yard dash … 4.2 20-yard shuttle … 11.58 60-yard shuttle … 7.06 three-cone drill … 34-inch vertical jump … 9-foot-11 broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times.
Attended Gunderson (San Jose, Calif.) High School, playing football for coaches Jay Carrasco and Chris Bolding … 2001 league Most Valuable Player as a senior at Gunderson High School … First-team All-Central Coast Section choice and played in the 2002 Santa Clara County North-South All-Star Game … In addition to football, he lettered in basketball and track, registering a personal best of 6-foot-8 in the high jump.
Sociology major … Born March 31, 1984 in San Jose, Calif.