August 23, 2009

Countdown to kickoff: No.11 - Eddie Jones

Name: Eddie Jones

Position: Defensive end

Classification: Junior

Prep credentials: The former Kilgore star was a five-star prospect (6.1) who was ranked as the nation's No.3 weak-side defensive end (behind Ricky Sapp and Brandon Warren) by Rivals. Jones was ranked as the state's No.2 overall prospect by Lone Star Recruiting, while Rivals ranked him as the state's No.3 player.

Click here to see Jones' high school film

2008 stats: Jones played in all 13 games as a reserve defensive end/special teams performer, recording eight tackles, five tackles for loss, a sack, five quarterback pressures and a pass deflection.

2008 Honors: None

Click here to see Jones' 2008 highlight film

Career stats: In two seasons as a reserve defensive end, Jones has produced 36 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 11 pressures, 2.5 sacks, one interception and three pass deflections.

Best game in 2008: Jones flashed big-play potential against Arkansas when he recorded a sack, a quarterback pressure and a deflected pass.

Scouting Report: At 6-3, 260 pounds, Jones is a highly-talented, high-effort player that has yet to put all of the pieces together in the first half of his Longhorn career. Of course, Jones' health has been a central storyline in his career, as he's been forced to deal with a number of physical ailments that seem to stunt his growth right as he appears to be hitting his stride.

However, as the start of the 2009 season approaches, Jones looks a lot less like the two steps forward/three steps backwards player he's been in the past and much more like the playmaker that ranked among the nation's elite when he was a prep star. He's always been a very good player at the point of attack and that hasn't changed, as he does a good job of playing with proper pad level and he strings out runs to the outside as well as anyone in the program. In fact, a few of his more impressive plays in camp have come when he's chased down some of the more gifted skill players on campus behind the line of scrimmage.

Although he can get uprooted when matched up with the truly elite offensive tackles, his athleticism makes him a threat to make plays up and down the line of scrimmage. Jones has yet to show consistent plus-pass rush skills, but he's always active and playing at 100 miles per hour, which will lead to him picking up an occasional clean-up sack when the initial pressure causes the play to breakdown back into him.

Jones' doesn't have a great first step, but he's quick and slippery off the edge, and he's the kind of guy that enjoys mixing it up on every snap. More than anything else, Jones' not-stop motor makes him a guy that is always in the thick of things when he's on the field.

The big hope… Jones finally enjoys a season of good health and he emerges as a big-play contributor at defensive end, potentially challenging for a starting position.

The big worry… Some guys are always injured and that's just the way it's always going to be. The fear is that Jones is one of those guys.

Did you know? Nickname is "Bad Dream".

NFL Scouting report:"If he's a smart guy, he'll soak up everything that (Will) Muschamp pours into him because he's a good looking athlete and he always seems to be crashing into something. He's a 260-pound end that's athletic enough to play on coverage teams on special teams. That tells you something. But, let me tell you - he has to realize that he's hurting his team if he can't harness some of his aggression because he overruns a lot of plays and takes himself out of too many plays. He doesn't have that great jump, so he tends to go wider around the corner, which makes it difficult for him to get back into the play. That's an area he has to get better in. "

The bottom line: Jones has been as consistent and productive in camp this month as any of the defensive ends on the roster, and he appears ready to become a vital member of what Will Muschamp wants from his front four. The only thing that could potentially hold him back from emerging as an impact performer on defense is a bout with injuries. Until he puts together a full season, that's the question that's going to follow him everywhere.

No.12 - Tre Newton

No.13 - Emmanuel Acho
No.14 - John Chiles
No.15 - Kheeston Randall
No.16 - David Snow
No.17 - Curtis Brown
No.18 - Malcolm Williams
No.19 - Keenan Robinson
No.20 - Vondrell McGee
No.21 - Blake Gideon
No.22 - Adam Ulatoski
No.23 - Ben Alexander
No.24 - James Kirkendoll
No.25 - Jared Norton

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