Miles Jones arrived in Lincoln last year with a lot of hope. The coaching staff talked a lot about his potential at making an impact early in his career, but things don’t always go according to plan.
Jones was sold on being Nebraska’s version of Otis Anderson from Coach Scott Frost’s time at UCF. Anderson was a do-everything type player in the Knights’ offense during his freshman season in 2017. He played in 12 games that season with one start, racking up plenty of yards and touchdowns along the way.
A look at Jones’ high school numbers highlight why the staff made the comparison to Anderson. As a senior, Jones had 1,831 total yards and 16 touchdowns. American Heritage captured back-to-back state titles in Florida during Jones’ time on the team.
Needless to say, Jones is used to having success as a team and an individual. Unfortunately, injuries slowed the immediate expectations for Jones at Nebraska.
In early November of last season, offensive coordinator Troy Walters confirmed that Jones had shoulder surgery. It was an injury suffered during fall camp, but the staff planned for the surgery to take place approximately eight weeks into the season. As a result, Jones was able to appear against Bethune-Cookman, catching one pass for 21 yards and gaining five yards on one carry.
Walters hoped Jones would be back in time for spring. Jones was close. He missed only the first two weeks of spring practice while still recovering from that injury. But just as he was starting to get back in the swing of things this spring, he hurt his ankle. That limited Miles some but he’s made a strong effort to get back in the mix.
And now that he’s getting back to it, running backs coach Ryan Held is ready to see what he can finally do.
“He’s a guy when we recruited him that could run and do some things with the ball in his hands,” Held said in March. “He mixes in with Coach Walters and then he’s with me. He’s going to get a lot of reps down the stretch. I have to see if he’s an asset more in my position or if he’s a hybrid guy. I have to see.”
As for what Jones sees himself bringing to the table?
“Speed and versatility,” Jones said after Monday’s practice. “I can do the wide receiver and running back type of thing. I can really get into the open field and make guys miss.”
Jones has bounced back and forth between wide receiver and running back this spring, although he’s spent most of his time at receiver. He feels comfortable enough with the playbook in his second year in Frost’s system to go between the two positions when needed.
“It’s my second year so now I have a feel for the playbook and the schemes,” Jones said. “Now it’s just playing fast and not thinking as much as I did last year.”
Jones still has the skill set to be the Anderson-type player the coaching staff thought he could be at Nebraska. And while he’s been limited so far in his time as a Husker, he’s ready for what’s to come.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.