Matt Jones became the fourth Florida Gators player to be drafted in the 2015 NFL Draft (following Dante Fowler, DJ Humphries and Chaz green) when he was taken with the 95th overall pick in the third round by the Washington Redskins.
Jones will join former Gators Jordan Reed and Xavier Nixon and begin rookie camp as he attempts to make the Redskins 53 man roster.
In 2012 the Seffner, Florida native came to Gainesville planning to be used as a key cog in Will Muschamps run heavy offense. He spent his freshman season playing second fiddle to 1,000-yard rusher Mike Gillislee and finished himself with 275 yards.
Unfortunately for Jones, 2013 didn’t see much more as he had to ride quite a roller coaster through the season, ranging from a viral infection that kept him out of fall camp to a torn meniscus that ended his sophomore campaign in October.
As a junior, Jones saw his production more than double, as he led the Gators in rushing, posting 817 yards on 166 attempts (averaging 4.9 per carry) and six touchdowns.
After his healthiest season yet, he decided to leave early and take a shot with the NFL. At 6’2”, 231lbs. he was projected to be a 5th or 6th round pick.
Much of Jones decision was based on his young daughter and the desire to provide for her as much as possible. The NFL is known for having a short shelf life for running backs and for using them more as a stable instead of a premier guy. Jones spoke with GatorCountry back in January and revealed that knowing how running backs are beat up on during games played a large role in wanting to get an extra year to make money for his daughter before his body couldn’t take any more.
He’ll now get the chance to do just that as a professional football player in Washington.