In High School Tony Jones Jr. was a 2-sport star. Playing for Florida powerhouse, IMG Academy in Bradenton, as a baseball player he batted an impressive .491. Also a star on the football field, his senior season at talent rich IMG he averaged 6.6 yards a carry and scored 11 TDs on just 78 carries.
Jones was never a Notre Dame fan growing up and really wasn’t interested in attending Notre Dame, but when the calls from South Bend started, his mom insisted he go on a visit. On that visit his attitude changed dramatically. He said that he was so impressed that he, “Just fell in love.” He committed the next day.
Coming in to Notre Dame as one of the top ranked running backs in the nation, Jones first saw action his sophomore season. He totaled 232 yards on 44 carries with 3 touchdowns and excelled on special teams.
By his Junior season he was a key cog in the 2018 playoff run, sharing the change of pace role with Jafar Armstrong behind Dexter Williams. Against Vanderbilt that season he led the Irish with 118 yards rushing as well as 56 yards receiving. He also flexed his receiving skills against USC with a 51 yard TD reception. Despite paying through a high ankle sprain for much of the year, Jones finished the year with 392 rushing yards and 3 TDs.
Jones started 12 games as a Senior and was a major part of a dynamic offense. Against Virginia he had 131 yards and scored 3 times. Against USC he had his biggest ever career rushing day with 176 yards. In the Camping World Bowl win over Iowa State he scored on an 84-yard run, the longest rush in Notre Dame Bowl game History.
Jones had again fought through injury but finished out his Senior year with 857 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is currently on the roster of the New Orleans Saints.
Tony Jones Jr. , ND 2016-2019, had a sparkling personality, made some very big plays during his career in South Bend and he is this week’s Fighting Irish Preview, All-Time Irish Hero.