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TJ Jones has second 100-yard outing of year in Notre Dame win


Senior wide receiver TJ Jones has become a bigger part of Notre Dame's offense each season, and he is on his way to his best season yet.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Jones had eight receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown Saturday night as the Irish held off Arizona State, 37-34, at the Dallas Cowboys' home stadium. That gives him 33 catches for 481 yards and four touchdowns this season. His previous high in each category was 50 receptions for 649 yards and four touchdowns last season.

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Jones isn't a speedster (4.5 in the 40-yard dash), but he has good quickness, reliable hands and runs solid routes. He can be used in the slot or out wide, and he also is a willing blocker.

In August, Irish coach Brian Kelly said Jones would follow in the footsteps of former Irish star receiver Michael Floyd and be a first-round pick. That seems unlikely, but Jones looks to be a lock to be drafted anywhere from the third to the fifth round. He won't be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL, but he certainly can be a No. 3 guy.

Jones is increasing his value by being used as a punt returner this season; he is averaging 10.1 yards per return in that role.

Saturday's performance was his second 100-yard outing of the season and the second of his career. He caught six passes for 138 yards in the opener against Temple.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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