Call him what you want. Ronald Jones II. Rojo. Texas Tesla. Whataburger King. Okay, I made the last one up no one actually calls him that but me. It’s true though he loves Whataburger, even more than, prace yourself Californians, In and Out Burger. However, I have a feeling Trojan fans will forgive him, given the production he had as a Trojan the past few seasons.
As a Trojan, Jones rushed for over 3600 yards on 591 carries (an impressive 6.1 yards per carry) with 42 total touchdowns in just three seasons. Many analysts deemed him the biggest home run threat of any running back in college football, and rightfully so, the Texas Tesla broke out big runs early and often. I mean, just watch this guy work:
They don’t call him the Texas Tesla for nothing. The 5’11 205 pound back was selected as the 38th overall pick in the draft (2nd round, 6th pick) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After moving on from Doug Martin, Tampa needed a new, talented back to take his place. They hope Jones will not only be their guy in the near future, but for years to come.
Let’s start with what they’ll love, his explosive playmaking. Give this guy the outside edge, and say goodbye. In 9 of 13 games last year, Jones had a rush of 20 yards or greater, including 50 plus yard rushes (52, 67, 86) in three of those contests. The Bucs haven’t had that kind of presence in their backfield in nearly 10 years, something that’s been dearly missed. While Martin has a greater physical presence, he’ll never beat you on the outside quite like Jones.
An underrated aspect to Jones’ game is his catching ability. Yes, his receiving numbers won’t blow you away at USC, 32 receptions for 302 yards and three touchdowns. However, given the opportunity Jones can have a significant impact slipping out of the backfield. With Desean Jackson and Mike Evans on the outside, defenses will key on limiting their big playmaking ability. That’s where Jones comes in. Being able to slip out of the backfield for simple dump-offs and screens will go a long way. Add in the young star quarterback Jameis Winston, and this offense can make some big time noise.
Jones has an opportunity to start immediately in the NFL for a potential playoff contender. Not only that, he steps into a situation where he is not the focal point of the offense, giving him an easier transition into the league. With playmakers Jackson, Evans, and Winston surrounding him, Rojo can help rejuvenate the Tampa Bay offense.