Data Scout Notes: 2018: (+) Coming off 02-02-18 Hamstring/1st NFL Combine Run Pullup...01-05-18 - Announced Early Entry into 2018 NFL Draft...2017: 1stC...2016: 2ndC...PMaxwell/PDoak...2015: HMC
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Ronald Jones II USC Trojans Running Back 6-0, 205, 4.49, #25 McKinney, Texas McKinney North 8/3/1997
12/11/17 - 2017 ALL-PAC-12 FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): RB Ronald Jones II, Jr., USC,...USC's first teamers are quarterback Sam Darnold, tailback Ronald Jones II, defensive lineman Rasheem Green, outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, inside linebacker Cameron Smith, safety Marvell Tell III and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who was chosen as a special teams player. This is USC's most first team honorees since 2011, when Troy also had 7. Darnold is the first Trojan quarterback on the first team since Mark Sanchez in 2008, Jones is just the second USC tailback named to the first team since 2005 (along with Javorius Allen in 2014) and Smith is Troy's first inside linebacker on the first team since Rey Maualuga in 2008. - l 12/02/17 - USC is back on top in the Pac-12. The No. 10 Trojans defeated Stanford for the second time this season, beating the No. 12 Cardinal 31-28 in the Pac-12 championship game at Levi's Stadium Friday night. The Trojans (11-2) are conference champions for the first time since 2008, when the conference was the Pac-10. A goal-line stand played a major role in the Trojans' victory, as USC stopped Stanford's Cameron Scarlett on a fourth-down play from the USC 1-yard line with 8:00 remaining in the fourth quarter and USC clinging to a 24-21 lead. USC then went 99 yards for a touchdown that made it 31-21 with 4:22 left, but still had to sweat through a failed onside kick attempt by Stanford with 2:09 left before getting the win. USC beat Stanford 42-24 back on Sept. 9 in Los Angeles, but this one was more difficult. USC quarterback Sam Darnold was 17 of 24 for 325 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, and Ronald Jones II rushed for 140 yards. Bryce Love finished with 125 rushing yards for Stanford (9-4), and quarterback K.J. Costello was 10 of 22 for 192 yards and two scores. - The Sports Xchange
USC has been a dependable football factory for NFL running backs and Jones is the latest impressive prospect headed to the pros. He finished his Trojans’ career ranked fifth all-time in school history with 3,619 career rushing yards, falling behind four college football hall of famers (Charles White, Marcus Allen, Anthony Davis, Ricky Bell) and two Heisman Trophy winners (White, Allen).
A two-year starter at USC, Jones established himself as one of the Trojans’ best playmaker shortly after arriving on campus and has been a consistent producer the past three seasons. He leaves with a 6.1 yards-per-carry career average, which ranks top-five in school history, and reached the 100-yard rushing mark in 13 of his 19 collegiate starts.
Jones has the above average play speed to dart through creases and burst to the second level, flashing the start/stop open-field movements to make defenders miss. Jones doesn’t have a prototypical build for the position, but he does a great job converting his speed to power and using that natural momentum to finish though contact.
BACKGROUND A four-star running back recruit out of high school, Jones exploded on the recruitment radar after rushing for 2,406 yards and 39 touchdowns as a junior at McKinney North. He followed up with 2,009 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior and became one of the most sought-after recruits in the country – also won the 2015 district track championships with a 10.37 100-meters and 21.98 200-meters. Jones initially committed to Oklahoma State (where his older sister, Montinique, attended school), but reopened his recruitment a few weeks prior to signing day and pledged to USC over Notre Dame.
Jones made an immediate impact for the Trojans as a true freshman, leading the team with 987 yards rushing (USC freshman record) and eight touchdowns despite coming off the bench in every game behind starter Justin Davis. He again shared the backfield duties with Davis as a sophomore, but took over as the starting back for the final six games of 2016 and led USC with 1,082 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, earning Second Team All-Pac 12 honors.
Jones had his best season as a junior and set career-bests in 2017, finishing second in the Pac-12 in rushing yards (1,550) and rushing scores (19) to earn First Team All-American and All-Pac 12 honors. He became the first USC running back to tally back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons since LenDale White.
STRENGTHS Field fast and accelerates into the hole. Drops his hips and explodes laterally. Fantastic feet to brake, allow defenders to whiz by him and quickly regain his speed. Takes away outside pursuit angles with his pace. Transitions inside to outside without throttling down. Necessary run instincts to set up open-field moves. Runs more physical than expected for his frame, driving his legs and not surrendering at contact. Not a content ballcarrier and runs with urgency. Toughness to meet blitzers in the hole and keep them occupied. Ran track in college as the third leg on USC’s winning 400-meter relay team (39.89). Well-liked and humble teammate. Admittedly lazy as a high school underclassman, but matured following the death of his father (Ronald, an Army sergeant) due to a heart attack in 2012. Appetite for the end zone with at least one touchdown in 19 of his final 20 games at USC. – Dane Brugler 1/3/2018
WEAKNESSES Tall and lean-muscled, lacking an ideal build for the position. Lacks move-the-pile power. Not a consistent tackle-breaker unless his speed is shifted in high gear. Must improve his tempo and patience as an inside runner to better set up blocks. Needs to further his development as a receiver (32 catches for 302 receiving yards and two scores at USC). Limitations as a pass blocker with spotty technique. Marginal body armor leads to durability and usage concerns – missed the Cal game (Sept. 2017) due to a left ankle sprain and leg bruise. – Dane Brugler 1/3/2018
COMPARES TO: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs – With the body types, explosive runs and even the same jersey number, the Charles comparisons are unavoidable.
IN OUR VIEW: Overall, Jones needs to improve his run tempo and his workload will need to be monitored, but he flashes the home run speed, understated power and run determination to elevate a NFL backfield.
Going into 2017:The explosive Jones, who also sprints for USC’s track team, returns as a starting tailback as a junior in 2017 and should be among the nation’s top running backs. He has run for 2,069 yards on 330 carries (6.3 avg) with 20 TDs and caught 18 passes for 115 yards (6.4 avg) with 2 TDs in his career. He is 17th on USC’s career rushing list with 2,069 yards. His 6.27 career yards per carry is fourth best among those on USC’s Top 40 all-time rushing ladder. He has 5 100-yard rushing games in his career. He has 6 career starts.
Jones had an outstanding junior season, racking up 1,550 rush yards and 19 rush TDs to earn Pac-12 First Team honors as well. Jones leaves USC as the school's No. 5 all-time rusher in terms of career yards.
12/11/17 - 2017 ALL-PAC-12 FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): RB Ronald Jones II, Jr., USC,..Jones is just the second USC tailback named to the first team since 2005 (along with Javorius Allen in 2014).
After making quite an impression with his record-breaking showing in 2015 as a rookie, Jones was made an even bigger impact as a sophomore tailback in 2016. Overall in 2016 while appearing in all 13 games and starting the final 6 regular season games, he ran for a team-best 1,082 yards on 177 carries (6.1 avg) with 12 TDs and had 11 caches for 76 yards (6.9 avg) with 1 TD. His 1,082 rushing yards in 2016 marked the 29th time a Trojan eclipsed the 1,000-yard season rushing mark and ranks 27th on USC’s season list. He had 4 100-yard rushing games in 2016, all in the last 5 regular-season contests. He ran for a TD in each of the last 7 games and had 4 multi-TD games in 2016. He made the 2016 Campus Insiders Sophomore All-American honorable mention, All-Pac-12 second team and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 second team. He won USC’s 2016 Jack Oakie “Rise and Shine” Award (most electrifying run).
He had 46 yards on 7 carries and caught a 2-yard pass against Alabama. Against Utah State, he had 8 yards on 5 tries before being sidelined with bruised ribs. He rushed for 63 yards on 11 carries at Stanford, with a short scoring run. He had 15 yards on 8 rushes at Utah. He had 20 yards on 5 carries against Arizona State. He had 56 yards on 10 attempts (he also had a 9-yard reception) against Colorado. At Arizona, he got his first career start and ran for 77 yards on 16 ties (with a 5-yard TD) and he had a 7-yard reception. Against California, he ran for a career-high 223 yards on 18 carries (12.4 average) with a 37-yard TD (along with non-scoring bursts of 61 and 42 yards), the most rushing yards by a Trojan since Allen Bradford also had 223 against Washington in 2010 and the second most by a USC sophomore behind Shawn Walters’ 234 in 1994 versus Stanford (he also had 2 catches for 18 yards, including a 16-yard score) to earn Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Player of the Week honorable mention. Against Oregon, he tied a USC game record by rushing for 4 touchdowns (23, 3, 66, 1 yards) to become the 14th Trojan to do so (most recently, LenDale White versus Arizona in 2005) while he gained a game-best 171 yards on a career-high 20 carries (8.6 yards per rush) and, combined with his 223 yards in the previous game, his 2-game rushing total of 394 yards was the most in consecutive games by a Trojan since Reggie Bush’s 554 in 2005 versus Fresno State and UCLA (he also caught 2 passes for 26 yards) and thereby earning Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Player of the Week honorable mention. At Washington, he had a game-best 94 yards on a career-high 23 carries, with a 4-yard TD. He had a game-best 121 yards on 18 carries with 2 TDs (1 and 60 yards, with the second coming on third-and-1) and he caught a 5-yard pass at UCLA. He ran for 134 yards on 16 carries (8.4 average per rush), including a 51-yard TD, against Notre Dame. He ran for 55 yards on 20 carries, with a short TD, and added 2 catches for 3 yards against Penn State (he wore jersey #4 in honor of late USC tailback Joe McKnight).
Jones made an immediate impact as an often-used backup first-year freshman tailback in 2015. Overall in 2015 while appearing in all 14 games, he had a team-best 987 yards on 153 carries (6.5 avg) with 8 TDs and 7 receptions for 39 yards (5.6 avg) with 1 TD. He joined LenDale White as the only true freshmen to lead USC in rushing in a season (White did so in 2003). His 987 rushing yards broke Heisman Trophy winner Charles White’s 39-year-old USC freshman season rushing record (858 yards in 1976). He was 18th nationally in yards per carry (6.5, second in Pac-12). He made 2015 All-Pac-12 honorable mention and Phil Steele All-Pac-12 third team. He had 86 yards on 6 carries with a 44-yard TD against Arkansas State. Against Idaho, he had a team-best 83 yards on 8 carries (10.4 average) with a 1-yard TD (1 play after a 44-yard burst) and caught a 15-yard pass. He had 19 yards on 6 attempts and a 5-yard reception against Stanford. He had a team-best 54 yards on 10 carries at Arizona State. He had 8 carries for 65 yards with a short TD against Washington. He had a team-best 73 yards on 6 carries (with a 65-yard run) at Notre Dame. He had a game-best 73 yards on 15 carries (with an 18-yard TD) versus Utah.
He had a game-best 80 yards on 11 carries, with a 13-yard TD, at California. He set the USC freshman game rushing yardage record as he ran for 177 yards on 19 carries (breaking LenDale White’s 2003 mark by 37 yards), with a 74-yard TD burst, and he also caught a 5-yard scoring pass against Arizona to earn Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Player of the Week honorable mention and USC’s Jack Oakie “Rise and Shine” Award (for longest run from scrimmage). He had 61 yards on 19 tries and he caught a pass for no yards at Colorado. He had 56 yards on 14 carries (with a 12-yard TD run) and he also had a reception for minus 1 yard at Oregon. He had 63 yards on 17 tries versus UCLA to set the USC freshman season rushing yardage record and he also had a 3-yard reception. Against Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game, he had 50 yards on 6 tries with a 27-yard TD. He had 47 yards on 8 carries and a 12-yard reception against Wisconsin.
He sprinted briefly for USC’s track team in the spring of 2016. In his only appearance, he ran the third leg on USC’s victorious 400-meter relay team in the UCLA Dual (the quartet clocked 39.89).
He made 2014 Prep Star All-American Dream Team and USA Today All-Texas as a senior running back at McKinney (Tex.) North High. He ran for 2,009 yards (8.4 avg) with 28 TDs as a senior in 2014. As a junior in 2013, he ran for 2,406 yards (9.9 avg) with 39 TDs. He had 520 rushing yards (7.2 avg) with 9 TDs as a 2012 sophomore. He had 4,935 yards (8.9 avg) and 76 TD on the ground in his 3-year career. He also sprinted for McKinney North’s track team, with bests of 10.37 in the 100 meters (he won his district championships in 2015) and 21.98 in the 200 meters.
A communication major at USC.
Draft Scout Player News
03/02/18 - 2018 NFL Combine, Friday: For all of the backs who excelled Friday, Miami's Mark Walton and Southern California's Ronald Jones II did not have their best days. Walton, who measured in at just 5-10, 188 pounds, was clocked at 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Jones, expected to be one of the fastest backs, pulled up with an apparent leg muscle strain on his first attempt at the 40-yard dash and will instead have to show off his explosiveness at the USC Pro Day, which will certainly be heavily attended with projected No. 1 overall pick Sam Darnold opting to wait to throw on that day as well. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
02/28/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Running back Measurements: With his lean frame, USC's Ronald Jones will never be a 220-pound back, but coming in at 205 pounds is a good weight for him. His size and skill-set is comparable to Jamaal Charles, who was only 200 pounds at the 2008 Scouting Combine. Slightly more concerning for Jones was his smaller hands (8 3/4-inches); with only 32 career catches in his three seasons at USC, his pass-catching skills are an area he needs to develop. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Prospects Who Need to Measure Up: Ronald Jones, RB, USC...With his lean-framed body type, Jones doesn't exactly fit the ideal measureables for the running back position -- what is his exact weight? - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
01/05/18 - Southern California tailback Ronald Jones II will skip his senior season to enter the NFL draft. Jones made the announcement Friday, two days after quarterback Sam Darnold announced his intention to leave USC early. The speedy, durable Jones has been an excellent heir to the Trojans' Tailback U. tradition, finishing fifth in school history with 3,619 yards while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He rushed for 39 touchdowns and improved as a pass-catcher. He compiled 14 100-yard rushing games, and he had two 1,000-yard seasons following a 987-yard performance as a freshman. He finished his career strong, rushing for 1,550 yards and 19 TDs while USC (11-3) won the Pac-12 and reached the Cotton Bowl. He was an All-Pac-12 first-team selection. - AP College Football
12/11/17 - 2017 ALL-PAC-12 FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): RB Ronald Jones II, Jr., USC,...USC's first teamers are quarterback Sam Darnold, tailback Ronald Jones II, defensive lineman Rasheem Green, outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu, inside linebacker Cameron Smith, safety Marvell Tell III and wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who was chosen as a special teams player. This is USC's most first team honorees since 2011, when Troy also had 7. Darnold is the first Trojan quarterback on the first team since Mark Sanchez in 2008, Jones is just the second USC tailback named to the first team since 2005 (along with Javorius Allen in 2014) and Smith is Troy's first inside linebacker on the first team since Rey Maualuga in 2008. - USC Football