Texas defensive back Brandon Jones (19) celebrates his interception against TCU in Austin on Sept. 22, 2018. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

The NFL can wait: Texas safety Brandon Jones to return to the Longhorns for his senior season

Posted January 10th, 2019

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For one more season, football fans can find Brandon Jones in Texas’ secondary.

On Thursday, Jones announced on his Twitter page that he will return to the Longhorns for his senior season. Jones recently completed his third season as a Longhorn safety. His declaration comes after receiver Collin Johnson and defensive lineman Malcolm Roach also said they’d be back at Texas for the 2019 season. UT junior receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey, however, will enter the NFL Draft.

Following UT’s loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12’s championship game, Jones initially told reporters that he was leaning toward returning to school for his senior year. Just ahead of the Sugar Bowl, however, Jones appeared to be considering an early departure for the NFL. Jones declined to divulge the grade he received from the NFL’s draft advisory board, but he said that “I had a lot of good feedback when I submitted my papers to see where I stood and stuff.”

In the end, though, Jones decided to spend the 2019 football season at Texas. That news will be welcomed in a secondary that already needs replacements for senior starters Kris Boyd, Davante Davis and P.J. Locke III.

“I got really good feedback from the NFL, but with my injury I felt I had more to prove not only to myself, but to my team as well. I see where this team is headed and I want to be a part of something great,” Jones said in a statement released by Texas. “Getting my degree from The University of Texas was a huge thing to both myself and my mom, and I know that will take me further in life than football. I’m so very grateful for the opportunity to play at such a prestigious level and want to finish what we’ve started.”

 

A four-star member of Charlie Strong’s final recruiting class at Texas, Jones mostly made his mark on special teams as a freshman. He became a full-time starter for Tom Herman and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando the following  year. Jones has started 22 times over the past two seasons. Two interceptions and 131 tackles have been credited to Jones during that span of time.

Two of Jones’ tackles have been key stops at the goal line. His finger-breaking hit of quarterback Will Grier prevented a touchdown and forced a fumble in a 28-14 win at West Virginia in 2017. With USC leading 14-13 in what turned out to be a 37-14 win for Texas this past September, Jones ran down running back Stephen Carr on a 4th-and-goal from the UT 1.

The the six-foot, 205-pound Jones earned an honorable mention on the Big 12’s all-conference team in 2018. That honor was received during a season in which Jones missed four games because of an ailing ankle. He still ranked fourth among the Longhorns with his 70 tackles.

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