Jeff Jones was recruited by the Gophers as a four-star running back recruit from Minneapolis Washburn, but the freshman is turning heads when he lines up as a wide receiver in spring practices.
According to the Star Tribune, Jones didn't line up as a running back at all during Thursday's practice. Instead, he spent time in the slot catching passes, and he looked good.
“He’s looking real good, and I think all the defensive backs agree,” Quarterback Mitch Leidner said. “He runs some of the best routes on the team, and he’s relatively raw. He catches the ball real well.”
Head coach Jerry Kill told KFAN this week that Jones succeeding as a receiver doesn't surprise him because he saw how athletic Jones was during high school basketball games.
Jones isn't done as a running back, but Minnesota could use some depth at the receiver position. Roderick Williams, Rodney Smith and Berkley Edwards return as fellow running backs to help replace soon-to-be drafted leading rusher David Cobb.
Fans will get a good look at Jones on Saturday when the Gophers play their annual Spring Game at TCF Bank Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network at 3 p.m.