jones-velus-2022-action-PRACTICE-CHI

Velus Jones

WR

#12

Experience: R

Height: 6-0

Age: 25

Weight: 200 lbs

College: Tennessee

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Biography

HONORS (Courtesy of University of Tennessee media relations):

  • 2022 NFL Combine Invitee
  • 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl All-American (Punt Returner)
  • 2022 Reese's Senior Bowl Invitee
  • 2021 SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year
  • 2021 All-SEC First Team (AP, Coaches, Phil Steele)
  • SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week (vs. South Alabama, 11/22/21)
  • 2020 All-SEC Fourth Team (Phil Steele)
  • 2019 All-Pac-12 Second Team
  • 2018 All-Pac-12 Second Team (PFF)
  • 2017 All-Pac-12 First Team (CFN)
  • 2017 All-Pac-12 Second Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

CAREER: One of the most dynamic receivers and return specialists in the nation in his two seasons at Tennessee … Provided outstanding leadership in the locker room and was the 2021 SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year … Spent his first four seasons at Southern Cal from 2016-19 before transferring to Tennessee in the spring of 2020 … Played in 61 career games with 21 starts (23 games and 15 starts at Tennessee) … Including his time at USC, hauled in 120 passes for 1,434 yards and 11 touchdowns for his career … At UT, caught 84 passes for 1,087 yards and 10 scores … In his three seasons on the field at USC, logged 36 receptions for 347 yards to go along with 1,947 kickoff return yards on a school-record 81 attempts … Finished his career as the FBS' active career leader in kickoff return yards with 2,973 and averaged 24.4 yards per kick return … Finished his USC career second all-time in school history in kickoff return yards, 194 behind record-holder Adoree' Jackson … Scored 14 touchdowns three different ways at the college level – receiving (11), rushing (1) and kick return (2) … Owned three 100-yard receiving games with all three occurring at UT … Racked up 4,738 all-purpose yards in his career, including 2,416 at UT and 2,322 at USC … Logged 272 career punt return yards – all at UT – and averaged 15.1 yards per return … Finished ninth in UT career kick return yards (1,026), sixth in school history in kick return average (25.0) and ninth in kick returns (41) … Earned his undergraduate degree from USC in December 2019 and completed his master's degree at Tennessee in December 2021 … Selected to play in his hometown all-star game, the Reese's Senior Bowl, in February 2022 ... Was the leading receiver for the American Team, catching four passes for 53 yards, including a long of 32 ... Invited to the 2022 NFL Combine in March.

2021 - RS-SENIOR (SIXTH YEAR): Ended his Tennessee career as one of the most improved players in the nation and one of the nation's most versatile players … Played in all 13 games with nine starts … The only player in the nation with over 800+ receiving yards, 200+ punt return yards and 600+ kickoff return yards … Rolled in the accolades, earning Reese's Senior Bowl All-American, All-SEC First Team and the 2021 SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Year … Became just the second Vol ever to earn that honor and the first since Evan Berry in 2015 … Caught 62 passes (10th in school history) for 807 yards and seven scores … Ranked 10th in the SEC in catches, ninth in receiving yards and 10th in receiving touchdowns … Notched three 100-yard receiving games … His 1,722 all-purpose yards ranked third in the SEC and his 132.5 all-purpose yards per game was second in the SEC and 16th in the nation … The 1,722 AP yards was also second in UT single-season history … In his first season returning punts, led the SEC in punt return average (15.11) and yards (272) and was second in the FBS in punt return average … Ranked second in the SEC in kickoff return average (27.3) … His 628 kickoff return yards on the year tied for seventh in UT single-season history and was tops in the SEC … Combined for 900 total return yards, good for second in UT history and the most since Willie Gault had 987 in 1981 … In his final college game, logged a game-high 207 all-purpose yards in the Music City Bowl vs. Purdue (12/30) … Returned five kickoffs for 122 yards and added a career-best 10 receptions for 85 yards and a 15-yard touchdown in the third quarter vs. Purdue … Had a career-long 50-yard punt return and hauled in two passes for 22 yards vs. Vanderbilt (11/27) ... Set a career-high in all-purpose yards against South Alabama (11/20) with 246, including 103 receiving yards, 96 on kickoff return and 47 on punt return ... Took back a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half vs. his hometown team, UT's first KR TD since Sept. 9, 2017 ... Posted 118 all-purpose yards with one kick return for 20 yards, 54 punt return yards and eight catches for 44 yards vs. No. 1 Georgia (11/13) ... Caught the opening score against the Bulldogs, a 9-yard connection with Hendon Hooker on UT's opening drive ... Finished with 100 yards receiving to help lead UT past No. 18 Kentucky, including a 72-yard TD catch in the first quarter; added 31 kick return yards ... Made three grabs, including an 8-yard touchdown from Hendon Hooker in the first quarter, for 18 yards in a start against No. 4 Alabama (10/23) ... Hauled in six passes for a game-high 93 yards vs. No. 13Ole Miss (10/16) … Added 59 kick return yards and had a career-best punt return of 40 yards that kept the Vols alive ... Had a season-high 103 receiving yards and a touchdown on six catches against South Carolina (10/9) ... Caught a 21-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left in the first quarter vs. the Gamecocks and also had 33 punt return yards ... Made his first start of the year and led the team in receiving yards (79) and receptions (7) while hauling in a 35-yard touchdown in the second quarter in road win at Mizzou (10/2) ... Tied for the team-high with three receptions for 64 yards at No. 11 Florida (9/25) and added 82 kickoff return yards on four attempts ... Led the team in receiving with 65 yards on three catches and scampered for a 45-yard touchdown vs. Tennessee Tech (9/18) ... Also returned three punts for 32 yards against the Golden Eagles ... Recorded the second most kickoff return yards of his career against Pitt (9/11) with 122 while adding 31 yards receiving on three receptions.

2020 - RS-SENIOR: Made an immediate impact at Tennessee as a return specialist and wide receiver, playing in all 10 games with six starts ... Ranked third on the team in receptions (22) and receiving yards (280) while finishing second on the team in receiving touchdowns (3) ... Led the SEC in kickoff return yards (398) and was second in the league in kickoff return average (22.11) … Started the final six games of the year … Had a breakout performance at Vanderbilt (12/12), setting season highs in catches (7), receiving yards (125) and receiving touchdowns (2), including a 74-yard TD catch ... Made four catches for 70 yards, including his first touchdown catch as a Vol vs. No. 6 Florida (12/5) ... Tallied two catches for 27 yards and had a 32-yard kickoff return at No. 23 Auburn (11/21) ... Made first UT start vs. No. 2 Alabama (10/24) … Returned three kickoffs for a season-high 71 yards vs. Kentucky (10/17) ... Had three kickoff returns for 63 yards at No. 3 Georgia (10/10) ... Saw significant action in his UT debut at South Carolina (9/26), catching five passes for 29 yards and returning two kickoffs for 66 yards, including a 40-yarder.

2019 - RS-JUNIOR: Earned second-team All-Pac 12 honors as a return specialist … Played in 12 games with two starts (Colorado, Oregon) … Returned 29 kickoffs for 704 yards and one score … Averaged 24.28 yards per kick return, which ranked third in the Pac-12 and 32nd nationally … His 704 total yards ranked 14th nationally … Caught six passes for 35 yards and finished the year with 739 all-purpose yards … Returned a kickoff 100 yards in the season-opener against Fresno State (8/31) … Finished that contest with 161 total yards in kickoff returns … Went over the 100-yard mark in kickoff returns against No. 16 Utah (9/20) with five returns for 102 yards … Averaged 26.0 yards per kickoff return against Washington (9/28).

2018 – RS-SOPHOMORE (USC): Saw significant time at wide receiver and kick returner … Played in all 12 games and started four times (UNLV, Texas, Colorado, California) … Notched 24 receptions for 266 yards (11.1 avg) with one touchdown … Added six carries for 13 yards (2.2 avg) with one rushing score … Totaled 21 kickoff returns for 483 yards (23.0 avg) … Made the 2018 Pro Football Focus All-Pac-12 second team as a kick returner … Had career-high four catches for 71 yards and returned 2 kickoffs for 55 yards at No. 9 Texas (9/15) … Tallied two catches for 48 yards and four kickoff returns for 91 yards against Washington State (9/21) … Had a 22-yard reception and an 8-yard TD run off a fly sweep against Arizona State (10/27) … Accumulated three kickoff returns for 76 yards at Oregon State (11/3) … Caught his first career touchdown pass, a 45-yarder in the second quarter at UCLA (11/17) … Totaled three catches for 24 yards and returned three kickoffs for 57 yards against Notre Dame in season finale (11/24).

2017 – RS-FRESHMAN (USC): Saw action in all 14 games as a backup wide receiver and USC's main kick returner … Tallied six receptions for 46 yards (7.7 avg), five carries for 15 yards (3.0 avg) and 31 kickoff returns for 760 yards (24.5 avg) … Ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in kickoff return average and 15th nationally in total kickoff return yardage … As a kick returner, named to the 2017 CollegeFootballNews.com All-Pac-12 first team, Athlon All-Pac-12 second team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second team … Had two kickoff returns for 61 yards against Western Michigan (9/2) … Returned three kickoffs for 88 yards against Texas (9/16) … Returned two kickoffs for 52 yards at Washington State (9/29) … Reeled off 144 yards on six kickoff returns at Notre Dame (10/21) … Returned five kickoffs for 78 yards against No. 5 Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl (12/29).

2016 – FRESHMAN (USC): Redshirted as a first-year freshman at USC.

HIGH SCHOOL: One of the top prospects out of the state of Alabama for the Class of 2016 … Made 2015 Prep Star All-Southeast Region, USA Today All-Alabama first team, AL.com Super All-State first team, Alabama Sportswriters Association All-State Class 6A first team and All-Coastal Alabama first team as a senior wide receiver at Saraland High School … Hauled in 48 receptions for 945 yards (19.7 avg) with 10 touchdowns in 2015 … Added 172 rushing yards with two touchdowns on the ground and two touchdowns on special teams that same season … As a junior in 2014, earned all-state and all-region after collecting 51 receptions for 1,118 yards (21.9 avg) with nine touchdowns … Helped lead Saraland to the 2014 Class 6A state championship game.

PERSONAL: Full name is Velus Tyler Phillip Jones Jr. … Born May 11, 1997 … Son of Velus Jones Sr. and San'tae White … Inspired by his late grandmother, Linda Jones, who passed away in 2012 … Earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Southern Cal in December 2019 … Earned his master's degree at Tennessee in agricultural leadership, education and communications in December 2021 ... Recipient of Jack Brewer Athletic Scholarship Endowment … Grew up in Mobile in a neighborhood full of kids and then moved to Saraland at the age of eight … Started playing football at the age 4.

IN THE UT RECORD BOOKS:

Career

  • Kickoff Returns – 41 (9th)
  • Kickoff Return Yards – 1,026 (9th)
  • Kickoff Return Average – 25.0 (6th)
  • Combined Return Yards – 1,298 (11th)

Single-Season

  • Receptions – 62 in 2021 (10th)
  • Kickoff Return Yards – 628 in 2021 (7th)
  • Kickoff Return Average - 27.3 in 2021 (4th)
  • Punt Return Average – 15.1 in 2021 (7th)
  • Combined Return Yards – 900 in 2021 (2nd)
  • All-Purpose Yards – 1,722 in 2021 (2nd)
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