Aaron Jones ended his career as UTEP’s all-time leading rusher. Jones broke several records for UTEP before declaring early for the 2017 NFL Draft. See below as he discusses his time at UTEP and the upcoming NFL Draft. He is also a player I have pegged as one of the most under-rated prospect headed into the draft process this off-season.
Scott Porter: Who is Aaron Jones?
Aaron Jones: Aaron Jones is an underdog. That’s how I like to describe myself. Not too many people know about me. I was under recruited, luckily UTEP gave me and my brother an opportunity to play together which is why I ended up at UTEP. If I had to use one word to describe myself it would be “underdog”.
Scott Porter: What factors led you to the decision to declare a year early for the NFL draft?
Aaron Jones: I felt like I had an incredible season and playing the position of running back I am well aware that running backs take a lot of wear and tear on their body so my position doesn’t often have as long of an NFL career as other positions. I felt it was time for me to go. I accomplished all of my goals, broke a lot of records and it was time for the next challenge.
Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest football strengths?
Aaron Jones: My greatest football strengths are that I am a natural leader. I lead by example, my ability to help other players. I feel I make those around me better by being a leader and being able to talk to them and help them. I am also an every down running back.
Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest football accomplishments?
Aaron Jones: The one that sticks out to me the most is being UTEP’s all-time career rushing leader.
Scott Porter: What do you like most about playing the running back position?
Aaron Jones: I like being able to change the game, being physical. I feel like playing the running back position you are able to change the momentum of the game with being physical. I know a lot of people who think throwing the ball is what changes the game and creates the big plays, but I like having the ability of making a big run, running over someone or making a big block that gets my teammates hyped up and believing that we can win the game. I am a versatile running back so I can change the game in multiple ways.
Scott Porter: What type of person is an NFL team getting in Aaron Jones?
Aaron Jones: They are getting a humble, a hard-working, and dedicated individual.
Scott Porter: What are your hobbies off the field?
Aaron Jones: Away from the field I enjoy watching sports. I enjoy working out and bettering myself. I also like to play video games.
Scott Porter: What will you miss most about college football?
Aaron Jones: The thing I will miss the most are the relationships I have built with my teammates and the coaching staff at UTEP. I will miss taking the field with my brothers who I spent a lot of time working with throughout my 4 seasons at UTEP.
Scott Porter: Is there a player in the NFL that reminds you of yourself?
Aaron Joes: One is a retired player. Marshall Faulk, the way he could catch the ball and explode out of the backfield. He was a lot of fun to watch. He was a do it all running back. He could block, catch, run, make a big play when his team needed it. He was a very smart player. He and Emmitt Smith were two players I looked up to as a kid and tried to be a lot like them.
Scott Porter: What was your overall experience like at UTEP?
Aaron Jones: I loved it, it was an honor to play there. I went to High School near UTEP so it was really a dream come true to play at UTEP. The program gave us so much love. I wanted to show kids from El Paso that you don’t have to leave El Paso to make a name for yourself. With hard work and a lot of effort you can reach your dreams.
Scott Porter: I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating this years running back class. It is a very deep running back class. How do you feel you are able to separate yourself from a lot of the other running backs in this year’s class?
Aaron Jones: My pass catching ability. I take a lot of time to work on my ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Scott Porter: What was it like being able to play college football with your brother Alvin?
Aaron Jones: It was a blessing and a dream come true for us. We’ve always wanted to play college football together since a young age.
Scott Porter: What advice would you give to a young student athlete who is stepping foot on college campus?
Aaron Jones: Play every down like it is your last. You never know who is watching. Give everything you have and work to improve each and every day you step on the field.