LOS ANGELES — A number of instances this week, Austin Jones’ cellphone has buzzed with a textual content message from a former teammate. Typically simply in anticipation of the little reunion approaching Saturday, different instances to speak trash.
“I don’t actually do the forwards and backwards, you recognize what I’m saying?” Jones mentioned. “I give all of them the identical response, ‘See you this weekend.’”
Jones and his new staff at USC will journey this weekend as much as Palo Alto to face Stanford, the college the place Jones spent the primary three years of his faculty profession.
“It’s sort of humorous, you recognize, going again to a spot you’ve been for 3 years,” Jones mentioned. “It’ll be a enjoyable expertise. … It’s simply one other sport for me, actually.”
Jones performed in all 12 video games as a real freshman in 2019. His position advanced within the pandemic-shortened 2020 marketing campaign, beginning six video games and making Pac-12 honorable point out whereas main the Cardinal to 550 speeding yards to go along with 9 touchdowns and 156 receiving yards.
And whereas he nonetheless obtained a team-high 107 carries in 2021, Jones’ manufacturing dropped in his final season at Stanford. He averaged a career-low 3.5 yards per carry and scored simply two touchdowns in 12 video games.
After the season, Jones made the choice to enter the switch portal and in the end selected USC for his final two seasons of eligibility.
“He’s undoubtedly antsy this week. He’s undoubtedly antsy,” fellow again Travis Dye mentioned Tuesday. “He desires to get after it, and I can’t wait to look at him play towards his outdated guys.”
He ought to proceed to characteristic prominently towards the Cardinal as USC strikes ahead with a working again committee.
Jones didn’t get the beginning in his first sport as a Trojan, however had the very best speeding efficiency of the working backs. His 4 carries went for 48 yards and he scored two touchdowns, matching his complete from final season. He additionally added a 21-yard reception on his lone goal.
Talking after follow on Wednesday, Jones mentioned he seems like USC’s offensive model, with receivers unfold out broad, permits him extra room to function than Stanford’s I-formations. And he seems like he has improved at breaking tackles and in go safety beneath the steerage of working backs coach Kiel McDonald.
“You come to a brand new spot, so it’s undoubtedly a bunch of recent alternatives and new experiences and all the pieces like that,” Jones mentioned. “I simply take it upon myself to simply maximize the alternatives that I get.
As USC has ready for its Pac-12 opener towards the Stanford, Jones has been having conversations with coaches on the opposite facet of the ball. Defensive assistants will choose his thoughts and ask questions on sure formations and terminology may imply.
He could have been with the Cardinal as soon as, however he’s a Trojan now.
“I’ll give them what they need,” Jones mentioned. “On the finish of the day, it’s about profitable the sport.”