Notre Dame running back Tony Jones Jr. is the latest Fighting Irish player to announce his NFL Draft plans. He’s turning pro.
Jones will forgo his redshirt senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft. He joins safety Alohi Gilman as Irish stars to declare early entry to the professional ranks this week.
Quarterback Ian Book, meanwhile, will return to South Bend for his final season next fall.
“The last four years at Notre Dame have been greater than I ever imagined,” Jones wrote in his announcement. “This university has helped me grow as a player, but more importantly as a man.”
— Tony Jones Jr. (@TonnJoness) December 31, 2019
After redshirting in 2016 and playing a key role as a reserve running back the next two seasons, Jones proved he could be a workhorse in 2019. He led the Irish in rushing yards (857) and touchdowns (six), while carrying the ball a team-high 144 times.
To put that in perspective, Jones tallied 624 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 127 carries in the previous two years combined. The 5-foot-11, 224-pound tailback recorded five games of 100 or more rushing yards, including a 176-yard performance against USC and 135 yards and a touchdown in Notre Dame’s Camping World Bowl win over Iowa State.
The Irish finished 2019 with an 11-2 overall record.