Notre Dame Football

Tony Jones Jr. More Mature In 2019

April 5, 2019
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Running back Tony Jones Jr. has been part of explosive backfields for the past two seasons at Notre Dame. In 2017, the 5-foot-11, 222-pounder shared the load with Josh Adams and in 2018, Jones split carries with Dexter Williams. 

Entering the 2019 season, Jones is competing with Jafar Armstrong to become Notre Dame’s next workhorse.

“We don’t really care who plays,” stated Jones. “All of us can play and we’re all great backs. We all love each other. It doesn’t matter who is in there as long as we’re playing well.” 

Jones ran for 392 yards and had scored a total of four touchdowns in 2018, but he feels a big season is on the way.

“I’m more mature and taking my time with stuff,” said Jones. “I’m having more fun with it instead of making it so hard.

“It’s coming down to my last couple years. I have to have fun with it before it’s too late.” 

Not that Jones lacked focus the last two seasons, but he was learning how to be a student-athlete and one who was getting significant playing time. 

“I think it was hard to balance things,” explained Jones. “I had to learn from it. Now, I feel like I know what I’m doing and I know how to balance all the things in my life.” 

Jones seems to have a little extra juice in his step this spring as he had made big plays in the run and pass game. While he’s heavier than a year ago, Jones believes he’s in better shape. 

“Last year I was like 220 for the first four games,” Jones stated. “I got hurt and gained a little weight. I’m at 222 right now, so it’s not a big difference.” 

The good health and extra motivation can be credited to Director of Football Performance Matt Balis, who has pushed Jones and his teammates to their max. 

“From a physical standpoint, I don’t want to sound crazy, but I think Balis made us crazy and crazy in the mind to be good,” said Jones. “He wants us to be strong and fight through things.”

 
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