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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Football #34: Tony Jones Jr

The running game was, well, not great last year. Can this youngster change that?

NCAA Football: Notre Dame Spring Game Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame has taken on a running back-by-committee approach in recent seasons, and it looks like this year will be no different. Josh Adams will obviously be number one on the depth chart, followed by Dexter Williams and a highly touted underclassman in Tony Jones Jr.

Brian Kelly and the Irish made the wise decision to put a redshirt on Jones in his first season at Notre Dame in what was a lost year, so he enters the 2017-18 season with four years of eligibility left. He has impressed many with his running ability in spring practices this year, and will certainly see some action this year. So it’s time to get acquainted with the running back from St. Petersburg, Florida.

3 Things to Know About Tony Jones Jr.

  1. He hails from national powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which finished in the top ten in the final national rankings in Jones’ final season. Playing for such a stacked school affected his playing time, but he made his presence known when his number was called.
  2. Jones was ranked as high as 13th in his class entering signing season before he committed to Notre Dame. At 5-11 and 224 pounds, Jones has the makeup to be an explosive back for the Irish.
  3. This guy does some damage on the baseball diamond as well. As a junior for IMG Academy, he batted .491 in 18 games. Not bad.

YouTube Hot Fire

We don’t have much on Jones with a golden helmet yet, but feast your eyes on these highlights from his IMG Academy days. Seriously, this guy can change direction in a split second.

I, RyChi, Dub Thee....

“Tony Jones Carl’s Jr.” The fast food joint serves crisscut fries, and this running back criss-crosses defenders at will with his amazing ability to make sudden cuts.

2017 Forecast

The starting job belongs to Josh Adams, and for good reason. However, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Jones jumps Dexter Williams on the depth chart if he plays to his potential in 2017.

Even if Williams has a fantastic season and remains as the second back, we can still expect to see a lot of Jones this season. With a new and inexperienced quarterback in Brandon Wimbush and a solid offensive line, we can expect a stronger emphasis on the run this season, which could lead to more carries and more broken ankles for opposing defenses.