Ronald Jones II, the third running back to sign with USC in this recruiting class, will have his competition cut out for him. Barring injury, he probably won't start at any point during the 2015 season, but he is a talented runner who already has shown the instincts and talent that makes you think he'll be the Trojan workhorse in the near future.
Here is one of his highlight reels:
Jones is obviously fast, and he isn't afraid of contact. But he also smartly doesn't seek out contact, and uses his blockers well when he can. Watch him set up his block right here:
Ronald Jones II could have just broken to his left toward the open field right off the bat, but defender No. 30 did a nice job of stacking his blocker, and there's a (small) chance he might have made the tackle. Instead, Jones gave a little fake to the inside to get No. 30 to re-engage with the blocker before Jones came back and took it upfield.
This was a very subtle move, but something that is relatively sophisticated for runners to use in the open field. Setting up blockers is key at higher levels of competition for any running back, and that is one of the main reasons Frank Gore is still a starting back in the NFL even at almost 32 years old.
Jones also has really good vision and excellent discipline as well:
A lot of running backs, especially at the high school level, where elite prospects like Ronald Jones II are faster and stronger than pretty much everyone on the field, simply like to try and get to the open field on the outside so they can try to break off huge runs on every play. Here, Jones could take it to the outside, toward the bottom of your screen, if he really wanted to. There was enough space for him to bounce it to the outside and he would've almost surely gotten a nice gain out of it.
But instead, Jones sticks his foot in the ground and takes the ball right inside the right tackle. This shows good instincts, vision, and discipline by Jones to play within the structure of the play instead of trying to do too much. This skill translates to all levels of football.
Jones is a nice blend of size, speed, and power, and his natural football instincts should push him toward the top of the depth chart sooner rather than later. While things like ball security, catching ability, and pass protection are mysteries right now and will undoubtedly play huge factors in his football career, Ronald Jones II has the potential to take the starting job entirely in the near future.