OXFORD, Miss. — As we count down the days until the Ole Miss season opener against Memphis in the Liberty Bowl, we are releasing who we think the Top 50 Most Impactful Players will be for the Rebels this season. This series is a way for Ole Miss fans to learn more about players to keep an eye on this fall.
With 6 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 6…
Jaylon Jones was a four-star cornerback, according to Rivals, Scout, and ESPN, out of Allen, Texas when he signed with Ole Miss in the Class of 2016.
Jones helped Allen to three straight state title appearances and won back-to-back state titles in 2013 and 2014. As a senior, he was named All-State by USA Today after notching 61 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and an interception.
As a true freshman at Ole Miss in 2016, the 5-foot-11, 183-pound Jones earned PFF and Rivals’ Freshman All-America First Team honors and was named Freshman All-SEC by the league coaches, Athlon, and Gridiron Now. Jones played in every game at cornerback for the Rebels his first season, including a start against Vanderbilt, and tallied 26 tackles, 5 pass breakups, and a forced fumble.
Congratulations to Ole Miss defensive back Jaylon Jones for being named to the 2016 Freshman All-SEC Team! pic.twitter.com/cEbnaCuK3k
— The Rebel Walk (@TheRebelWalk) December 8, 2016
In 2017, the sophomore appeared in all twelve games, including starts in six of those at defensive back and kickoff returner. Jones racked up 34 tackles and three pass breakups, and he finished third in the SEC with 775 kickoff return yards, including a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against South Alabama.
Last year, Jones suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the Rebels’ opener against Texas Tech. Up until the point he was injured, he was dominating on the field with 7 tackles and a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He also dominated in the classroom, earning 2018 Dean’s Fall Honor Roll and SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll honors.
Mixed emotions throughout these 2 days, hoping it was all a dream… This is real. I know not to question God, this is part of the journey. Thank you to everyone that sent prayers up. All that energy is contagious, ThreeOne will be back activated soon🔋 #GodSpeed pic.twitter.com/lrMYuEXcky
— Jaylon Jones (@1JJones_) September 3, 2018
The Rebel Walk spoke with Jones earlier this month about his recovery from the ACL injury. “I feel great,” he said.
“I’m blessed and grateful to be here. With this injury, I know everybody makes it a big deal, but honestly the way I attacked rehab, I feel like I have a lot of confidence.”
Jaylon Jones on returning from injury
“He’s been at practice every single day. He hasn’t missed a rep, which I’m really excited about. Sometimes when you come back like that, you get sore or your hamstring gets sore.
“He’s been able to be out there every day with no complaints and no issues. He’s been able to get better every day. I’m excited about what he’s shown and he’s got two more weeks to get going…As the season goes along, too, I think every game he’ll get a little bit better and a little bit better and a little bit better,” said MacIntyre.
Jaylon tells us he will continue to play on special teams this upcoming season for the Rebels. “Yes, most definitely. I feel like I would be selling myself short if I didn’t do everything that I did last year.”
He also speaks favorably about Coach MacIntyre. “I’m a big fan of Coach Mac,” he began.
“You can tell he’s had NFL experience. It’s also fun having a defensive coordinator that loves DBs. He shows us a lot of love. But what is so different with him is that he really understands the game and understands how to explain it to college athletes. I really can thank him for that. I can see through the spring guys picked up on the playbook easily. Like he always says, ‘Knowledge equals power equals playing fast.’ I think we’re going to have a good season.”
Jaylon Jones on DC Mike MacIntyre
When asked how he feels being on an island against the bigger receivers in the SEC, Jones’ excitement showed. “That’s what I live for,” the redshirt junior said.
“I picked this position long ago when I was in middle school. I live for this. To me, nothing is better than being on that island. One-on-one taking on the best receiver. Telling him, show me, let’s see if you can catch it. I like it a lot.”
Jaylon Jones has had a phenomenal fall camp. He’s been consistently running with the ones at cornerback and should be listed as one of the starters in the opener against Memphis. He’ll also have the opportunity to return kickoffs again this season. He’s fully recovered and has the swagger you want to see in a defensive back.
Look for No. 31 to have a big season this fall for the Rebels!
Most Impactful Rebels for 2019
6. Jaylon Jones
7. Alex Givens
8. Josiah Coatney
9. Ben Brown
10. Lakia Henry
11. Sam Williams
12. Qaadir Sheppard
13. Jacquez Jones
14. Miles Battle
15. Jerrion Ealy
16. Braylon Sanders
17. Eli Johnson
18. Myles Hartsfield
19. Dontario Drummond
20. Jon Haynes
21. Montrell Custis
22. Demarcus Gregory
23. Bryce Mathews
24. Royce Newman
25. Tylan Knight
26. Tariqious Tisdale
27. Octavious Cooley
28. Jalen Julius
29. Luke Logan
30. Nick Broeker
31. Austrian Robinson
32. Quentin Bivens
33. Willie Hibbler
34. Isaiah Woullard
35. Jadon Jackson
36. Grant Tisdale, Kinkead Dent, John Rhys Plumlee
37. Keidron Smith
38. Snoop Conner
39. Michael Howard
40. Vernon Dasher
41. Ryder Anderson
42. D’Vaughn Pennamon
43. C.J. Miller
44. Charles Wiley
45. Sincere David
46. Mac Brown
47. Jason Pellerin
48. Chandler Tuitt
49. Dannis Jackson
50. Jonathan Mingo