Friday, November 9, 2007

Senior Day: WR Nate Jones

Nate Jones came to Texas in 2004 as a two-way all-state performer out of Texas High School in Texarkana. Not as highly touted recruit as other Texas skill players, Jones had good size at 6'2" and solid speed running a 4.48. However, when it comes to Texas receivers, most everyone is coming in with those kind of numbers.

In 2004 as a freshman, Jones appeared in 11 games, starting 3 games due to an injury. For the season he had 7 receptions for 73 yards. In 2005 he once again was a infrequently used backup in a deep receiving corps, recording 9 catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. In 2006, he appeared in 13 games recording 13 receptions for 153 yards and 3 touchdowns. Coming into 2007 it appeared that Jones would still have trouble making it into the lineup with an offense featuring Limas Sweed, Billy Pittman, Quan Cosby, highly touted, but often injured Jordan Shipley ahead of Jones on the depth chart.

However, injuries with Sweed and Shipley, and the suspension of Pittman, forced Jones into the starting lineup, and it is a position he hasn't relinquished since. He has quickly become one of Colt's favorite targets and an extremely reliable possession receiver. With his good size, Jones has been extremely effective in the short and mid-ranged passing game. In 10 games this season Jones is leading the Longhorns in receptions (57), yards (628), and receiving touchdowns (4). It has been a pleasant surprise and a breakout season for Jones. Even with the return of Shipley and Pittman, Jones has not given up his spot in the starting lineup.

This season will definitely give Jones the opportunity to play at the next level, and while his speed and ability to stretch the field may limit him, his sure hands and ability to get open in the mid-range could allow him to one day become a solid second receiver for an NFL team. Nate Jones might not go down in Texas lore, like a Limas Sweed, but he shows the depth and talent that Texas possesses year in and year out. In addition to his efforts on the field, Jones is an outstanding student that is slated to graduate this December, in three and a half years.

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