by Rick Snow
A year ago, former Battery Creek star Greg Jones was thinking NFL. But that quickly changed in the 3rd quarter of the Wake Forest game last season.
That’s the way of football, one minute you're Florida State’s leading rusher with 938 yards and 8 touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards a carry, and needed just 62 more yards to become only the 8th Seminole to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.
The next minute you're being hauled off the field on a stretcher and needing surgery to repair damage to both the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligament. He’s making progress in recovery and expects to be ready to play in September, “Some days I walk with a limp and I think that I still have a ways to go. It's not healing as fast I as I want it to, but it's coming along."
A year later, Jones is still thinking NFL, but in a different light. He still has the desire to play pro football, he’s projected to be a first round draft pick if he can prove that the right knee is healthy. “At the beginning of two-a-days last year (Warrick Dunn's single-season rushing record) was one of my goals” says Jones. “Going into this season that will be one of my goals again."
He should make it all the way back this season and help the Seminoles recover from last season’s fade. After all, as the cousin of former heavyweight champion, Joe Frazier, he has the family trait of being a fighter.
Player Profile from Florida State University:
At Florida State: Senior regarded as one of the top tailbacks in the country…big, bruising back who also has excellent speed and quickness…expected to contend for All-America honors and should be listed as a Heisman Trophy candidate…missed the final five games of the 2002 season and all of spring practice after tearing his ACL against Wake Forest on November 2nd…led the ACC in rushing yards per game (104.2)…ran for 938 yards in just nine games and was voted second team All-ACC…has led the Seminoles in rushing yards in each of the last two seasons…ran for a career-high 189 yards at then-No. 1 Miami…ran for 100 or more yards in five games in 2002 and has nine career 100-yard rushing games…already ranks 10th all-time at Florida State with 1,917 yards rushing and is tied for ninth with 16 career touchdowns.
Junior Year (2002): Led the Seminoles in rushing (938 yards) and rushing touchdowns (eight) while playing in just nine games …suffered a season-ending injury in the Wake Forest game on November 2nd… averaged 5.8 yards per carry and caught 10 passes for 74 yards…had five 100-yard rushing games (Iowa State, Vir-ginia, Maryland, Clemson and Miami)…rushed for a career-high 189 yards at Miami, the 10th-best rushing day in FSU history…had 354 yards in back-to-back games against Clemson and Miami, the most in consecutive games since Greg Allen in 1983…voted second team All-ACC…was named “Big Hitter” for the offense at the end of spring practice.
Sophomore Year (2001): Florida State’s leading rusher with 713 rushing yards on 134 carries for an average of 5.3 yards per carry...gained over 100 yards in four of the last seven games, including a game-high 120 yards on 23 carries against Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl…scored a team-high six touchdowns on the ground...gained over 100 yards against Virginia (107 on 18 carries), Clemson (160 on 17 carries) and Georgia Tech (101 yards on 23 carries)...gained 573 of his 713 yards over the last seven games of the year...averaged over 81 yards per game in the final seven games ...caught three passes on the year for a total of 11 yards.
Freshman Year (2000): Saw playing time as a backup at tailback and also on special teams as a true freshman…ranked third on the team with 266 rushing yards on 41 carries…scored two touchdowns on the ground and caught two passes for 16 yards on the season…touchdowns came against North Carolina and NC State …carried seven times for a season-high 78 yards at NC State…ran for 46 yards on just three carries at Wake Forest as Travis Minor, Jeff Chaney and Davy Ford missed time due to injuries…had at least 30 yards rushing in five games.
High School: Outstanding two-way player in high school... rushed for over 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior at Battery Creek...registered seven sacks in limited action on defense as a senior...named all-state as a senior...reported a 4.5 in the 40 and a 365-pound bench press...SuperPrep’s No. 12 running back nation-ally and No. 3 prospect in South Carolina...listed as the No. 8 prospect (No. 1 linebacker) in the Atlantic Region by PrepStar...all-south selection by Fox Sports Net...listed 36th on Orlando Sentinel’s national Top 100...a St. Pete Times “Blue Chipper”...Rivals100.com’s No. 6 running back....G&W’s No. 6 ACC-area prospect...Atlanta Journal Constitution Super Southern 100 selection...competed in sprints for high school track team...selected FSU over Clemson, Michigan, South Carolina, Ohio State and Tennessee.