Following a great redshirt-junior season, Tony Jones Jr. announced that he would be forgoing his final year of eligibility and entering the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jones finished his redshirt-junior season with 857 rushing yards, six rushing touchdowns, 104 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown.
The Bucs need a running back and Jones could be one who they take late in the draft. Although they are expected to take a running back earlier in the draft, it wouldn’t hurt to take another good running back in the 6th or 7th round.
Jones is also from Florida and attended IMG Academy in high school.
I spoke with Jones on Friday about his college career, thoughts heading into the draft, and more.
Q: What would it mean to you if the Buccaneers selected you in the NFL draft? What kind of player and person would they be getting?
A: “It would be cool to play for my hometown team and play in front of my family and friends at every home game. They would be getting a guy who is going to work his tail off everyday to make the team better and a player that will play and do anything to get the team to victory.”
Q: At the NFL Combine, how’d you feel that you performed?
A: “The combine was a life long dream, but it was a learning experience. I felt I didn’t get the numbers I wanted, but I was proud of myself making it to that historic event.”
Q: During your meetings at the NFL Combine, were there any odd questions you were asked?
A: “All the questions being asked are normally the same with every team but nothing too crazy besides a team asked ‘Did I have a murder charge or any hidden kids?’”
Q: What do you think your greatest strength is heading into the NFL Draft?
A: “My greatest strength is my versatility and how smart I am on and off the field.”
Q: What was it like practicing and playing at the Shrine Bowl? How do you think you did there?
A: “The shrine game was a dream come true i always wanted to play there since I was a teen. I think I put my name more out there after that week of showcasing my talents that some teams didn’t know about me.”
Q: Out of high school, what was the recruiting process like for you, and what made you choose Notre Dame?
A: “In high school, I was a late bloomer in getting offers and things like that. But i loved that process because it was like the first time you could see your hard work paying off in high school. I chose Notre Dame because I thought it was the best school for me to challenge myself on and off the field.”
Q: In your final college game, you had an 83-yard touchdown run which was the longest of your career and the longest rush in a bowl game in ND history. What was it like for you to have a memorable play like that in your final game with the Irish?
A: “That was like the cherry on top of my career at Notre Dame. It showed how I always find a way to win and come out on top of any situation. Every time I see that play on film or on TV, it still gives me chills to this day.”
Q: What was your favorite moment in Notre Dame history?
A: “My favorite moment was catching the game winning TD to send us into the playoffs.”
IAN BOOK ➡️ TONY JONES JR!!— ND Whiteboard (@ND_Whiteboard) November 25, 2018
MILES BOYKIN WITH A MONSTER BLOCK!!
2 SCORE GAME!! 24-10 IRISH!! pic.twitter.com/tLVePycptw
Q: Are there any current or former players that you model your game after?
A: “Marshawn Lynch and Emmitt Smith”