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Black Friday with the Huskers
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#44 Calvin Jones
Position: I Back
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 210
Year: Junior
City/State: Omaha, Neb.
High School: Central

Honors & Awards

  • Nebraska Hall of Fame Inductee (2004)
  • Third Round NFL Draft Pick (Los Angeles Rams, 1994)
  • Preseason All-American
  • Doak Walker Award Finalist (1993)
  • Big Eight Player-of-the-Week Nominee Four Times (1993)
  • Third-Team All-American (Football News, AP, 1993)
  • Honorable-Mention All-American (UPI, 1993)
  • Two-Time Consensus All-Big Eight (1992, 1993)
  • Second-Team All-American (Football News, 1992)
  • Honorable-Mention All-American (UPI, 1992)
  • Sophomore All-American (Football News, 1992)
  • Big Eight Offensive Player-of-the-Year (Coaches, 1992)
  • Three-Time Big Eight Player-of-the-Week (1992)
  • Big Eight Offensive Newcomer-of-the-Year (1991)
  • Sports Illustrated Player-of-the-Week (11/11/91 vs. Kansas)
  • Second-Team All-Big Eight (1991)

Career (1991-1993)
Preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and All-American I-back Calvin Jones had a rough start in 1993, injuring his knee in the first game and missing the next two contest. He went on to record his second consecutive 1,000 yard season and moved into second all-time at Nebraska and 12th in the Big 8 with 3,153 career rushing yards and 40 touchdowns, despite starting just 12 games in his stellar three-year career. He average 105.1 yards per game in his career with 16, 100-yard rushing days and was a consensus All-Big 8 back and a Third-Team All-American for the second consecutive year. Jones was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

Junior (1993)
Jones finished with 1,043 yards on 185 carries with 12 TDs rushing in nine games on the season, his second-consecutive 1,000-yard season, becoming just the third Husker to do so in both his sophomore and junior season. Jones rushed for more then 100 yards in six of eight games last year when he carried the ball. He added seven catches for 117 yards and another TD to average 134.2 all-purpose yards. He led the Big 8 in rushing average with 105.1 ypg, and ranked No. 9 nationally. He also led the Big Eight is scoring, for the third consecutive year, with 8.67 point per game, a figure which ranked ninth nationally.

On the season Jones was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, awarded annually to the nation’s top running back. Jones was also nominated for Big 8 Player-of-the-Week four times and earned Third-Team All-America honors from the AP and Football News along with Honorable Mention All-America honors from UPI. Jones also repeated as a consensus All-Big 8 pick in 1993


Sophomore (1992)
Calvin Jones made history and set the tone for the future as he became the only Nebraska rusher to gain 2,000 yard before the end of his sophomore season with 1, 210 yard and 14 TDs in 1992. He joins Oklahoma State’s Thurman Thomas (1985) as one of two in the Big Eight Conference to reach the 2,000 yard mark as a sophomore. He accomplished the feat in the final regular-season game again Kansas State in the Coca-Cola Bowl in Tokyo when he stared in place of the injured Derek Brown and rushed for a season-high 186 yards and set a school record for achieving the 2,000 mark in the least amount of carries, 262.

Jones and Brown were an unstoppable one-two punch for the Husker as they led NU to the 1992 NCAA rushing title with and average of 328.6 yards per game. The pair set another school as they were the only running back combo to each rush for 1,000 in the same season, and a the same position, I-back (just the second pair in the nation to do so from the same position). Jones and Brown alternated starts the first four games, with Jones starting against Middle Tennessee State and Arizona State, then Brown starting the next six until a separated should gave Jones the full load to tow against KSU, when he had a career-high 30 carries (for 186 yards). Except for that final game, Jones never played more than two quarters, yet rushed for 1,210 yards on the season (110.0 ypg, 7.2 ypa) with 14 touchdowns to rank 14th and eighth in the nation in rushing and scoring, respectively.

His 1,210 yards were the eight-best mark ever for a sophomore in the Big Eight. He recorded seven 100-yard rushing days in 1992, and two of his best days were off the bench with 176 yards vs. Oklahoma State and 137 against Oklahoma. Against OSU he had a career-long 90-yard touchdown run which earned the AT&T long play of the week and was the longest rush in the conference on the season.

Jones also tied splint end Trumane Bell for the team lead in receptions with 14 catches for 162 yards and one TD, the first running back to lead a Husker team in receiving since Jeff Kinney in 1969. His receiving totals were aided by a career-high five catches for 41 yards against Kansas State. Jones also became the first player to lead the conference in scoring as both a freshman and a sophomore.


Jones was a unanimous All-Big 8 pick at running back (along with Brown) and while Brown earned Big Eight Offensive Player-of-the-Year from the AP, the conference coaches voted for Jones. He was a Second-Team All-American by Football News and a First-Team Sophomore All-American by the Football News as well. Jones also earned Honorable Mention All-America status from UPI. Jones was Nebraska’s nominee for Big Eight Player-of-the-Week five times and earned the honor three times for his efforts in the Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State games.


Brown and Jones were such a dangerous combination and so equally-talent that when the Big 8 coaches were asked which Big 8 player they would pick to build a team around all but one said either Jones or Brown. Together the “We-backs” rushed for 2,221 yards, a 6.59 ypa average, 201.91 yards per game average and 18 touchdowns. Their combined average would have led the nation and more the qualified for All-America honors as well as Heisman honors. As a pair, Brown and Jones were the only two backs from the same school to rank in the top 25 the same year, the only two backs at Nebraska to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season, the fourth Big 8 pair to do so; the 21st NCAA Division I pair to rush for 1,000 yards in the same season and just the second to do so while playing the same position; they were just the third Husker pair to rush for 2,000 yard while playing together; the eighth Big Eight pair to accomplish that feat while overlapping careers.

In the Orange Bowl vs. No. 3 Florida State, Jones was the Huskers’ leading rusher with 76 yards on 19 carries and caught one pass.

 

Redshirt Freshman (1991)
After sitting out 1990 as a redshirt, Jones ran for a Nebraska freshman record of 900 yards as NU’s alternate I-back behind Derek Brown, and became the first freshman to lead the Big Eight Conference in scoring, finishing at 8.4 points per game to edge Kansas kicker Dan Eichloff, Brown and Oklahoma back Mike Gaddis for the conference lead, and rank 10th in the nation. Jones’ 900 yards were the fifth-most ever for a freshman in the Big 8 and allowed him to rank sixth in the league at an even 90.0 yard per game. His 8.33 average per carry set a Nebraska record for a minimum of 100 attempts, breaking the old mark of 7.91 set by Gerry Gdowski in 1989. That earned him near-unanimous Big Eight Offensive Newcomer-of-the-Year honors, as well as second-team all-conference honors from the AP. The Huskers’ I-back combination of Brown and Jones, totaled 2,213 rushing yards, then the second best one-two punch in Nebraska history behind the 2,587 by Heisman Trophy winner Mike Rozier (2,148) and Jeff Smith (439) in 1983.

Jones’ rookie year will be most remembered for his banner day at Kansas, Nov. 9, and for his clutch performance against Oklahoma three weeks later. At KU, he came in for the injured Brown and carried 27 times for a Nebraska record 294 yards and a Nebraska and Big 8 record six touchdowns. The 294 rushing yards were the most ever by a freshman in the Big 8 and was second-most ever by a freshman in NCAA Division I-A, behind the 386 by San Diego State’s Marshall Faulk against Pacific earlier in 1991. The performance earned him Big Eight Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors, as well as national offensive player-of-the-week honors from The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated. Jones also had one pass reception for 4 yards at KU, giving him another school record with 298 all-purpose yards. Starting with that performance, Jones finished the year with 533 yards and nine touchdowns in the last three games. He average 10.1 yards per carry in that stretch and it was to him that Nebraska turned to in the clutch against Oklahoma, Nov. 29.

In Nebraska’s wining 10-play, 80-yard, fourth-quarter drive, the freshman lugged the ball nine times for 78 yards. With the Orange Bowl bid and a share of the Big 8 title on the line, and the Sooners leading, 14-13, Jones took a pitchout from quarterback Keithen McCant on fourth-and-1 at the OU 19 with 3:08 left. He picked up 4 yards around left end on that play, and then burst over left guard on the next for a 15-yard TD run that sent the Huskers to Miami. In the Orange Bowl, he was Nebraska’s leading rusher with 69 yards on 15 carries.

 

Freshman (1990)
A scholarship recruit, Jones redshirted his first year.

 

Before Nebraska (Omaha Central)
A consensus prep All-American for Coach William Reed, Jones established Class A rushing records for a game (367yards), a season (2,196 yards), and a career (3,965 yards). For the Eagles in 1989, Jones average 8.4 yards per attempt and scored 22 touchdowns and was the Gatorade Circle of Champions Nebraska running back of the year. Jones also was a state-champion sprinter at Central.

 

Personal
Majored in human development and family while at Nebraska. Calvin is the son of Pauline Smith, born Nov. 27, 1970 in Omaha. Jones was extremely active in the community, Jones led the spring game halftime pledge to say drug free and was a speaker at Omaha Youth Rap Sessions.

Year

Att.

Gain

Loss

Net

TDs

1991

108

912

12

900

14

1992

168

1,247

37

1,210

14

1993

185

1,056

13

1,056

12

Totals

461

3,215

62

3,153

20

Average per play: 6.84
Average per game: 105.1

1992 Orange Bowl: Rushing: 15-69
1993 Orange Bowl: Rushing: 19-79, Receiving: 1-0
1994 Orange Bowl Rushing: 9-28, Passing: 0-1, Receiving: 1-7 yards lost