A dangerous ground gainer and kick returner for the Irish who missed the '02 season...ranks second on the all-time Notre Dame kick return yardage list with 1,857 yards and is only 233 yards away from breaking Tim Brown's all-time record of 2,089 yards...also ranks second all-time in career kickoff returns with 59 (Brown is first at 69) and kickoff return yards at 1,435 (Brown is the leader at 1,613)...has also gained over 1,750 rushing yards in his career...rated second-team preseason All-America as kick returner by Athlon and Street & Smith's in '01...rated 15th nationally among tailbacks in '01 preseason position ratings by The Sporting News...earned first-team All-America honors in 2000 from CNNSI.com as kickoff-return man...boasts outstanding speed and ability to turn the corner...tremendous with the ball in his hands...possesses great vision and speed with ability to adjust on the run...named by Athlon to its National Football League All-Decade team for 2000-2009...joining Indianapolis' Peyton Manning at quarterback and Edgerrin James as the other running back.
AS A JUNIOR: Irish starter at tailback in '01...also was Notre Dame's top kick returner...led the team in rushing with 718 yards...named to collegefootballnews.com all-independent team...ranked 34th nationally in all-purpose yardage...53-yard punt return set up only Irish touchdown of game vs. Michigan State, a six-yard Matt LoVecchio-to-Tony Fisher pass...53-yard return was the second longest punt return of his career...scored first two touchdowns of the season vs. Pittsburgh...recorded season-high 25 carries vs. Pittsburgh, the third-highest number of carries in his career...recorded season-long kickoff return with 58-yarder vs. West Virginia...rushed for two TDs vs. West Virginia...second consecutive week he had two TDs...recorded his third-straight game with a rushing touchdown, a five-yard TD run vs. USC...made first touchdown reception of his career, a 21-yard catch, vs. Boston College...finished the Boston College game with 87 rushing yards...led the Irish in rushing vs. Navy with 24 carries for 117 yards...record career-long rush of 59 yards vs. Stanford...recorded 106 yards in the first half against the Cardinal, but suffered an ankle injury and did not play in the second half...saw limited action vs. Purdue in season finale due to same ankle injury.
AS A SOPHOMORE: Notre Dame's leading groundgainer in 2000 campaign...big reason why Irish ranked 12th in the country in punt returns (15.13) and third in kick returns (24.92)...led team in rushing attempts (162), rushing yards (657) and rushing TDs (seven), as well as all-purpose yards (1,169),...all-Independent pick by Collegefootballnews.com...named the best kickoff returner in the country, according to CNNSI.com's 'Half-America Team'...a list of the nation's top players in the first half of the season...named to the NFL all-decade team for 2000-09 by Athlon...ranked 19th nationally among running backs in preseason listing by The Sporting News...also named to the preseason all-Independent team by The Sporting News...led Irish in rushing with 14 carries for 60 yards and one touchdown vs. Texas A&M...made first career start against Nebraska and responded with 227 all-purpose yards...with 8:30 remaining in the third quarter, he fielded a kickoff in the end zone and returned it 100 yards it for a TD (first of his career by kickoff return) to bring the Irish to within seven at 21-14...became just the fourth player in Notre Dame history to return a kickoff 100 yards and the first since Clint Johnson did it against Stanford in 1993...named NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame Player of the Game for his efforts against the Huskers...led Irish with 56 yards rushing against Purdue, including two key third-down conversions on final drive that led to game-winning field goal...rushed for team-high 126 yards vs. Michigan State...scored on two-yard plunge on second play of fourth quarter to pull Notre Dame to within 21-14 against the Spartans and then added another two-yard score seven minutes later after Anthony Weaver's interception, giving the Irish 21-20 lead...named ABC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame Player of the Game for his efforts against Michigan State...had 50-yard kickoff return to open second half vs. Stanford, but saw limited action due to hamstring injury...had 18 carries for 105 yards vs. Navy, including a one-yard scoring run in first period that made it 14-0 for Irish...had fourth career 100-yard rushing game vs. Air Force, compiling 111 yards on career-high 27 carries...scored one-yard touchdown on opening Irish drive vs. Boston College...vs. USC rushed for team-high-tying 71 yards on 20 carries...Notre Dame's leading rusher in 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon State with team-high 13 carries for 30 net yards in reserve effort...also caught one pass for 10 yards and returned four kickoffs for 88 yards in Fiesta Bowl...received Art Bodine Sportsmanship Award at conclusion of 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon State.
AS A FRESHMAN: Rookie tailback made major contributions for Irish in '99...served as top Irish kick returner, leading Notre Dame in both kickoff and punt return yardage...set Notre Dame single-season record in '99 with his 26 kickoff returns...and his 603 kickoff return yards in '99 ranked behind only Heisman winner Tim Brown's 698 from '86 on single-season basis . . . his 798 overall kick return yards (195 punt, 603 kickoff) ranked second all-time in a season behind Brown's 857 in '87...rushed for 36 yards overall and a 13-yard, third-quarter touchdown vs. Arizona State...led Notre Dame rushers with 35 yards vs. USC and also had a 49-yard reception...had only 105 rushing yards through seven games before gaining career-high 146 yards on 19 carries vs. Navy, marking most rushing yards by a freshman since Jerome Heavens' 148 yards vs. Georgia Tech in 1975...named NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. the Middies...led Irish in rushing with 46 yards against Tennessee...had seven kick returns (second most in a game by a Notre Dame player...George Gipp had eight vs. Army in 1920) for 163 yards (23.3) vs. Pittsburgh...after averaging just nine yards per return heading into the game, took a fourth-quarter punt 67 yards for a touchdown to bring the Irish within two, 31-29, vs. Boston College...that marked Notre Dame's first punt return for a touchdown since Autry Denson's vs. Pittsburgh in '96...named NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP vs. the Eagles...had 897 all-purpose yards over his last five games (179.4 per game)...took over top punt returning assignment after Joey Getherall was injured in Michigan game...led Irish freshmen in playing time...made 109 combined special-team appearances.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Honorable mention USA Today prep All-American...listed 88th nationally on Chicago Sun-Times list of top 100 players...rated one of top 40 players in Virginia and one of top six running backs by Richmond Times-Dispatch...named to Orlando Sentinel All-Southern team...rushed for 2,564 yards and 36 touchdowns as senior in '98 at Powell Valley High School in Big Stone Gap, Va....earned four letters in football, captaining team as a senior...named Virginia Group A offensive player of the year in '97 and '98 by Associated Press and Virginia High School Coaches Association...Virginia Region D and Lonesome Pine District player of the year as junior and senior...career totals included 614 carries for 5,803 yards and 86 TDs...intercepted 10 career passes as a safety...helped Powell Valley to 28 straight victories and Virginia Group A-Division 2 state titles in 1997 and 1998...set Virginia record with 321 rushing yards in one state playoff game, on 19 carries, while also scoring five TD's...selected for Virginia High School Coaches Association all-star game...won four letters in basketball, serving as captain as senior and leading team to league titles as sophomore and junior...won four letters in track and field, captaining team as senior and earning all-state honors his last three seasons while competing in hurdle and jump events...helped team to four straight conference titles in track and field...set state record with 38.7 in the 300 hurdles in '98 and has run a 14.2 in 110 hurdles...brother Thomas earned All-America football honors as senior in '99 while leading Virginia in rushing with 1,798 yards (163.45 per game to rank third nationally) that set an Atlantic Coast Conference record...Thomas ended up as sixth pick in first round of 2000 National Football League draft by Arizona Cardinals...twin sister Knetris attended Virginia as well...full name is Julius Andre Maurice Jones...born Aug. 14, 1981...fourth oldest of seven children...enrolled in College of Arts and Letters, majoring in sociology.