Another USC Junior will be playing their next game on Sunday’s in the NFL.
USC junior running back Ronald Jones II will forego his senior season to enter the NFL draft. The announcement comes via USC Athletics twitter account.
USC RB @ronaldjones25 has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) January 5, 2018
He leaves Troy as the fifth-leading rusher in school history. #FightOn | #USCtotheNFL pic.twitter.com/jkt3udeduA
Jones has had a very productive career through his three years at USC, being the first back to back 1,000 yard rusher since Lendale White done it in 2004 and 2005. Jones also leaves USC ranked 5th on the all-time rushing list, passing Trojan greats such as Reggie Bush, Lendale White, OJ Simpson, and Mike Garrett this season. Ronald Jones was also a huge key to the USC run game and overall offense. Jones often put the Trojans in 2nd and short situations, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. This season Jones rushed for 1,486 yards and 18 touchdowns off 242 carries.
Jones joins what appear to be a pretty stacked running back class which will include Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, and Auburn Kerryon Johnson who already declared for this year’s NFL draft.
Despite the departure of Jones, USC still have pretty good depth at the running back position. Freshman Stephan Carr, redshirt freshman Vaeve Malepeai, and junior Aca’Cedric Ware all saw a good amount of carries this season. Expect to see them share a good amount of carries in the 2018 season. Incoming freshman Markese Stepp could also work his way into the rotation early on with Ronald Jones II departing for the NFL draft. This coming season expect to see Stephan Carr to receive a good amount of carries as the primary back.