It was a big first game for junior running back Tony Jones. He transferred from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic to Bradenton IMG Academy earlier this year. IMG coach Chris Weinke told me over the summer that Jones was the surprise of spring football.
Jones, 5-foot-11, 208-pounds, is a four-star recruit in the 2016 class. He finished with seven carries for 120-yards against a very good Godby team on Saturday.
Jones said after the game he has shed about 10-pounds and feels faster. He runs with a nice combination of speed and power. What I liked on Saturday is that Jones showed he can make the big play. On his first big run of the night he showed how fast he is breaking away from the pack. But Jones also showed the vision and cutting ability to find and attack the open spot in the defense.
Jones also had a couple of other very nifty runs, including his second score, where he again showed patience and then the vision and cutting ability to find the end zone.
Jones has a chance to have a monster season. He plays on a very talented team that is huge and talented up front. Then they have a passing game with the state’s top signal caller in Deondre Francois. But he will share time in the backfield with two other very good backs in Jack Wegher and Taven Birdow.
Jones has a trio of offers from Florida, USF and Cincinnati and says the Gators are his leader. But these three are the first or many, many more scholarships that seem to be on the horizon. This kid is a very good running back prospect.