|Minneapolis (MN) Washburn running back Jeff Jones|
Weight: 198 lbs.
High school: Minneapolis (MN) Washburn
Position: Running back
Notes: Holds offers from Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Syracuse, and Wisconsin . . . Committed to Minnesota on February 2, 2013 . . . Claims a 4.69 forty, 275 lb. bench, 350 lb. squat, and a 32" vertical . . . As a sophomore in 2011, had 142 carries for 1,415 yards and 26 touchdowns . . . As a junior in 2012, had 111 carries for 1,002 yards and 9 touchdowns . . . As a senior in 2013, had 167 carries for 1,525 yards and 34 touchdowns, plus 17 catches for 493 yards . . . ESPN 4-star, 83 grade, #14 RB, #181 overall . . . Rivals 4-star, #9 RB, #92 overall . . . Scout 4-star, #14 RB . . . 247 Sports 4-star, 93 grade, #13 RB, #188 overall
Strengths: Low center of gravity . . . Changes direction quickly . . . Jitterbug moves despite lacking great speed . . . Excellent patience and vision . . . Sets up blockers and defenders nicely . . . Uses variety of moves to shake free in open space . . . Deceptive power to go with agility . . . Can run around or through defenders . . . Good pass catcher . . . Adjusts well to ball in the air . . . Very physical runner who enjoys blocking unsuspecting defenders
Weaknesses: Lacks great speed . . . Not much of a home run threat . . . Does a lot of things well, but nothing outstanding in itself . . . Poor route runner, though that can easily be taught at the running back position . . . Appears to be a trash talker and occasionally slows up before end of play
Projection: Running back. At a shade under 200 lbs., Jones will likely want to add some weight to his frame in college, but I don't think he should get above 210-215 lbs. Adding too much weight might slow him down when he's not particularly fast in the first place. He's a good all-purpose back who can run the ball inside or stay on the field for third downs to block or be a pass catcher out of the backfield. He probably won't be able to get the edge on many teams, so he's a between-the-tackles type of runner. With a good offensive line, he has a chance to be a productive college runner, but I think he lacks the burst to be a superstar.
Reminds me of: Marshawn Lynch . . . but slower. Jones has the vision and physicality to warrant the Lynch comparison, but Lynch was a home run threat in college. Jones plays mediocre competition in Minneapolis and won't be able to run away from college athletes.
Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Jones is a soft commitment to the Minnesota Gophers and has been committed for nearly a year. He has visited Iowa State and entertained offers from Florida and Michigan. An official visit to Ann Arbor is set for January 24th. Most analysts believe the Wolverines have the best chance of flipping Jones. I believe the recent hire of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, who has had productive running backs at every stop, might be the thing to get Michigan over the hump.
Highlights: Jones's senior highlights can be found on Hudl.