Felix Jones #23 RB
Height: 5-10 Weight: 215 Age: 27
Born: 5/8/1987 Tulsa , OK
Experience: 6th season
High School: Booker T. Washington HS [Tulsa, OK]
Selected By: Dallas Cowboys
Pick (Overall): 22 (22)
Arkansas' duo of Felix Jones and Darren McFadden electrified Fayetteville for years. The junior tandem is taking the act to the NFL and not everyone is convinced Jones won't go from super backup to superstar.
Jones proved to be one of the best outside rushers in the SEC, but also has excelled as a kickoff returner. His average of 28.21 yards per kickoff return ranks ninth in NCAA Bowl Subdivision annals.
Known for his big-play ability, Jones' average yards per carry of 7.66 yards would be one for the college football all-time record books, if not for Glenn Davis of Army averaging 8.26 yards (358 attempts, 2,957 yards, 1943-46). Since Davis, the only players to average over seven yards per carry (minimum 350 attempts) were Mike Rozier of Nebraska (7.16-yard average on 688 runs for 4,780 yards, 1981-83) and Reggie Bush of Southern California (7.32-yard average on 433 carries for 3,169 yards, 2003-05).
The Razorbacks' tandem of McFadden (1,830) and Jones (1,162) amassed 2,992 yards on the ground in 2007. The only other tandems to gain more yardage in a season in NCAA annals were Barry Sanders (2,628) and Gerald Hudson (369) combining for 2,997 yards for Oklahoma State in 1988 and Reggie Bush (1,740) and LenDale White (1,302) combining for an NCAA record 3,042 yards for Southern California in 2005.
In the history of college football, having two players from the same team rush for over 1,000 yards each in the same season has been accomplished 41 times. McFadden and Jones (2006-07) and West Virginia's Steve Slaton and Patrick White (2006-07) joined Marion Barber III and Lawrence Maroney of Minnesota (2003-04) as the only duos to accomplish that feat more than once in a career over the last 30 years.
At Booker T. Washington High School, Jones was named the Tulsa World Player of the Year following his senior season, after rushing for 2,282 yards and 48 touchdowns on 205 carries (11.1-yard average). He led his squad to a 13-1 record and a state runner-up finish, as Jones rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns in the 5A state championship game. He was sidelined with a broken ankle early in his junior season, but still managed to rack up 800 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. Rivals.com ranked him the 19th-best athlete in the nation and the fourth-best overall player in Oklahoma.
Jones enrolled at Arkansas in 2005, after he originally signed a letter of intent to attend Oklahoma State. He also turned down scholarship offers from Tennessee, Texas A&M, Kansas, Louisiana State and Nebraska. He became the first true freshman in school history to earn first-team All-American honors (as a kickoff returner), when College Football News named him to its postseason team.
He ranked second in the nation with a 31.94-yard average on 17 kickoff returns for 543 yards and a touchdown. He caught eight passes for 100 yards and gained 11 yards on a punt return. As a tailback, he started two of 11 games, totaling 626 yards with three scores on 99 carries (6.3-yard average), ranking second on the team. He also became only the second freshman in school history to run for over 100 yards twice in a game.
Jones garnered All-American honorable mention and All-Southeastern Conference first-team recognition as a sophomore. He started six of 14 games, amassing 1,829 all-purpose yards, the third-best total in the league. He also ranked second in the SEC with 154 carries for 1,168 yards (7.6-yard average) and six touchdowns. He also caught 15 passes for 107 yards (7.1 avg) and three scores. He ranked third in the conference with 23 kickoff returns for 554 yards (24.1 avg) and a touchdown in 2006.
Jones was a consensus All-American and All-SEC first-team selection as a kickoff returner, adding Associated Press third-team national honors as an all-purpose back in 2007. He started just three of 13 games, but gained 1,162 yards with 11 touchdowns on 133 carries, as his average of 8.7 yards per attempt set an SEC single-season. He made 16 catches for 176 yards (11-yard average) and ranked fourth in the nation with 652 yards and two scores on 22 kickoff returns (29.64 avg). He also finished 22nd in the country with 1,990 all-purpose yards, an average of 153.08 yards per game.
With a new coaching staff in place at Arkansas, Jones decided it was best that he follow McFadden. Both Razorbacks decided to enter the 2008 NFL Draft.
"In the past few weeks I have taken time to consider my football future, and what was the best opportunity for me and my family," Jones said. "My decision has not been an easy one as I have tried to balance my love for this university, this state and the Razor-backs vs. my desire to play in the NFL. Growing up, I dreamed of playing football on Sundays. After considering all of the factors, I am confident that my decision to forgo my senior season to enter the NFL Draft is the right decision. My three years at Arkansas have been some of the bet years of my life."
Jones closed out his career with 2,956 yards and 20 touchdowns on 386 carries, shattering school and SEC career records by averaging 7.66 yards per rushing attempt, as he started 11 of 38 games he appeared in. He also caught 39 passes for 383 yards (9.8-yard average) and three scores. He added an 11-yard punt return and tallied 164 points.
Jones ranks ninth in NCAA history with school and SEC all-time records, averaging 28.21 yards on 62 kickoff returns for 1,749 yards and four touchdowns. He joined Darren McFadden (5,881) as the only players in school history to gain over 5,000 all-purpose yards (5,099) in a career.