Print  
#6 Keith Jones
Position: I Back
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 180
Year: Senior
City/State: Omaha, Neb.
High School: Central

Honors & Awards

  • Nebraska Football Hall of Fame Inductee (2004)
  • Sixth-Round NFL Draft Pick (Los Angeles Rams, 1988)
  • Two-Year NFL Veteran (Cleveland and Dallas)
  • Two-Time All-Big Eight

Senior (1987)
Jones closed his career at Nebraska as the third-leading rusher in school history.  His career-high 248-yard effort in the regular-season finale at Colorado led Nebraska to a 24-7 win over the Buffaloes and gave him a final rushing total of 2,488 yards, trailing only Mike Rozier's school-record 4,780 yards and I.M. Hipp's 2,814.  He finished the regular season with 1,232 yards, the fifth-best figure in Nebraska history, while his performance against Colorado ranks as the fifth-best single-game rushing performance at Nebraska and earned him Big Eight Conference offensive player-of-the-week honors.  Two games earlier, he had rushed for 240 yards against Iowa State, the No. 6 best rushing game in the Nebraska annals.  Including a 94-yard game against Oklahoma, "End Zone" Jones collected 582 yards in his final three games to move from No. 13 to No. 3 on the all-time chart.

He accomplished all this, earned UPI honorable-mention All-American and All-Big Eight honors for the second-straight year despite missing all of the Kansas game and most of the Kansas State game because of injuries, as well as most of the UCLA game because of a sub-par performance.  Against the third-ranked Bruins on Sept. 12, Jones was guilty of a couple of first-half fumbles, did not play in the second half, and netted just 18 yards on six carries in the Huskers' 42-33 win.  He redeemed himself in Nebraska's next game, though, as he rushed for 145 yards on 17 carries at then-12th-ranked Arizona State, and set up the Huskers' winning touchdown with a 62-yard run to the Sun Devils' 8-yard line in the final four minutes. 

He followed that with a 129-yard outing against South Carolina and another clutch performance.  After Nebraska fell behind, 21-12, in the third quarter, he rushed for 57 yards in a 96-yard scoring drive, including 44 after quarterback Steve Taylor was injured on the final play of the third quarter, and capped the drive with a 3-yard TD run that pulled the Huskers within 21-19 with 10 minutes to go.  Two minutes later, he scored the winning TD from 4 yards out and added the two-point PAT to lead the Huskers to a 30-21 win over the Gamecocks.  For his efforts, he was tabbed the Big Eight Offensive Player-of-the-Week.  Against Oklahoma and South Carolina, the Nos. 1-2-ranked rushing defenses in the country, Jones ran for 225 yards and three TDs.  In addition to Colorado, Iowa State, Arizona State and South Carolina, Jones had two other 100-yard-plus games as a senior---118 vs. Utah State and 115 vs. Oklahoma State.  That gave him 10 100-yard games in his career, and the Huskers were 10-0 in those games. 

Not for nothing did he receive his "End Zone" nickname.  He led the Huskers in touchdowns (13), and scoring (80 points as a senior) and finished fourth all-time at Nebraska in TDs (31) and eighth in scoring (188 points).  Jones averaged 123.2 rushing yards per game in 1987 to rank eighth in the NCAA and second in the Big Eight.

1986 (Junior)
Jones became the Huskers' No. 1 I-back a year early when two-time All-Big Eight Doug DuBose went down with a knee injury during an August 1986 scrimmage.  Jones responded by earning all-conference honors while leading the league ini rushing and in touchdowns with 830 yards and 14 TDs in 10 regular season games.

His last TD, a 2-yard run against Oklahoma, was the only rushing touchdown scored against the Sooners in 1986 and the only first-quarter score against OU all season.  Jones was the 12th Husker I-back to earn All-Big Eight honors in the last 10 years and was the third Nebraska I-back to lead the conference in rushing in the last four seasons.  It was the first time since 1978 that NU had not had a 1,000-yard rusher and the first time since 1967 that the Big Eight did not have a 1,000-yard rusher.  Keith had four 100-yard rushing games in 1986, topped by his 16-carry, 168-yard performance against Illinois, where his 78-yard TD run helped the Huskers to a 28-0 first-quarter lead on their way to a 59-14 win. 

1985 (Sophomore)
As a backup to DuBose, Jones rushed for 240 yards on 38 carries, 138 yards coming in late-season games against Iowa State and Kansas.  Against KU, he returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the first kickoff-return TD in five years. 

1984 (Freshman)
Jones played in just two junior-varsity games before moving up to varsity, but still ended the year as the second-leading rusher for the JV squad with 240 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries.  In six varsity games, Jones ran for 186 yards on 31 carries with two touchdowns.

At Omaha Central HS
Jones ran for 1,710 yards and 18 TDs as a senior for Coach William Reed at Omaha Central, breaking records set 23 years earlier by Gale Sayers.  He ran for a high-school career-high 235 yards against state champion Creighton Prep and 216 yards against runner-up Omaha Gross. 

Personal
Jones, who was born Feb. 5, 1966 in Omaha, is the son of Vernita Jones and has two brothers and four sisters.

Year

Att.

Gain

Loss

Net

TDs

1984 29 194 8 186 2

1985

38

249

9

240

3

1986

161

889

59

830

14

1987

170

1,245

13

1,232

13

Totals

398

2,577

89

2,488

32

First National Bank
Previous Next