Austin Jones announces return to USC for 2023 season
Austin Jones is an elder statesman in the USC running back room, and he’s a throwback running back in more ways than one. Jones doesn’t seem to have any issues with competition.
Jones announced on social media Friday that he’s coming back for a second season with the Trojans.
To Trojan Nation … ✌️6️⃣ pic.twitter.com/x9Nxjdfm9j
— Austin Jones❄️ (@rockwitaust) January 6, 2023
A transfer from Stanford last offseason, Jones landed in Los Angeles hoping to be challenged. He wanted to be in a talented room, and quickly found himself as a No. 2 option behind Travis Dye. There was a five-game span over the course of a month during the middle of the season when Jones was given just 17 carries.
But when Dye went down with a season-ending injury, Jones emerged from the bench to make sure the Trojans didn’t miss a beat in the run game. He had back-to-back 100-yard performances against UCLA and Notre Dame to close out the season and finished the year with career-highs in rushing yards (705), carries (135), and yards per carry (5.2). Jones had six touchdowns on the season and finished just shy of 1,000 all-purpose yards.
Once again in 2023, Jones will find himself in a crowded running back room.
Though the Trojans are losing Dye, they expect to return dynamic freshman Raleek Brown and reserve Darwin Barlow. USC went back to the transfer portal to bolster the group with former South Carolina runner MarShawn Lloyd. The Trojans also added 4-star 2023 signees Quinton Joyner and A’Marion Peterson.