Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In a rare decision for an underclassman on
the FCS level, junior tailback Taiwan Jones of Football Championship
Subdivision champion Eastern Washington has made himself eligible for the NFL
draft in April.
Jones, plagued by injuries over the last two seasons, missed Eastern
Washington's final two games this season -- a national semifinal against
Villanova and the championship game against Delaware -- because of a broken
JBScouting.com reported that Jones received a third-round grade from the NFL
Advisory Board, which undoubtedly factored into his decision. KXLY-4 in
Spokane reported that Jones has hired an agent.
This season, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Jones rushed for 1,724 yards and 14
touchdowns despite missing three games and parts of two others while Eastern
Washington went 13-2. Also an excellent receiver and kickoff returner, Jones'
201.8 all-purpose yards per game ranked second in the FCS.
The breakaway threat was named the Big Sky Conference Co-Offensive Player of
the Year and earned first-team all-conference honors. He was a second-team
selection on The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS All-America Team and was
fourth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award (sponsored by Fathead.com)
which honors the outstanding player in the FCS.
In 2009, the native of Antioch, California injured both shoulders and a hand.
He missed spring practices in 2010 while recovering from surgery for a sports
hernia. This season's foot injury occurred in a national quarterfinal against
North Dakota State.
Originally a cornerback at Eastern Washington, Jones scored on an 87-yard run
on the first carry of his career in 2009. He went on to rush for 1,213 yards
and 15 touchdowns on 162 carries -- an average of 7.5 yards per carry.
The Sports Network