Top RB keeping options open

ATLANTA – The state of Georgia has produced more than 75 running backs who have signed with FBS programs, so there is never a shortage of talented tailbacks in the Peach State.

Tyren Jones (Marietta, Ga./Walton) looks to continue that tradition, as the 5-foot-8, 190-pound junior has emerged as an early favorite for top running back in the 2013 class. In fact, Jones might be the best in Georgia right now regardless of class, as he led the state in rushing with 2,375 yards and 34 touchdowns, winning offensive player of the year honors for the AAAAA classification.

After an impressive week in practice for the Rising Seniors program, Jones once again was the leading rusher, this time against an All-Star squad of juniors representing western Georgia. Jones rushed for 61 yards on seven carries and a touchdown while catching two passes for 57 yards. The play of the game occurred when Jones bobbled a ball on the sidelines while defensive back Darius Curry was coming in fast for the kill-shot.

“I just tried to catch the ball, I bobbled it a bit, then I lowered the shoulder and ran him over,” Jones said.

While Jones knows he is fortunate to run behind one of the top interior offensive linemen in the south in Brandon Kublanow, he was especially appreciative of the blocking he received during Rising Seniors, with the five starting linemen averaging 315 pounds.

“The whole offensive line was huge and they told me to run behind them and that is what I did,” Jones said.

The Rising Seniors junior bowl helped motivate Jones to improve his talent, but he also heeded some valuable advice from the week-long program, which included several educational seminars.

“The guest speakers instilled the motto in my head to stay humble and keep working hard, so it was a good learning experience,” Jones said. “After playing against the top talent in Georgia, I know I just need to keep working hard to try and get to the next level.”

Jones said he intends on taking junior day visits to Florida and Georgia, and will likely try to visit Alabama over the summer. Duke, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and Georgia have all offered Jones, with the in-state Bulldogs trying to bring in multiple running backs in the 2012 and 2013 classes. Jones is aware of their situation, but as of now he is trying to be patient while looking for the right fit.

“I know Georgia is recruiting a lot of running backs,” Jones said. “I am interested but I like to keep my options open.”