Arguably college football’s most dynamic playmaker, why SMU opted to kick it to Marcus Jones remains a puzzling decision with just 30 seconds on the clock.
Electrifying. Gamebreaker. The list of adjectives to describe Houston’s do-it-all Weapon X have begun to exhaust themselves, as Jones has quickly made the Cougars must-watch TV as we near the homestretch of the college football season.
A 3-star recruit out of Enterprise, Alabama, and a transfer portal product from Troy, Jones’ skill set has become impossible to ignore as we approach the meat of the pre-draft circle. With unique ability entrenched in the defensive game plan as a starting boundary corner, while representing the nation’s top threat to take it the distance each and every time he touches the rock on special teams, Jones has become an eccentric combo unique to the college football landscape.
With similar abilities to the NFL’s most versatile talents in Cordarrelle Patterson and Andre Roberts, guys who can compete on their respective sides of the ball and dominate on teams, Jones represents everything NFL franchises look for as additions into their respective offensive arsenals.
“I think he’s getting to a point where I may say he’s the best returner ever,” Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “There’s been some good one’s but the things that he does are unbelievable. And for him to do it in both punt and kick, it’s unbelievable...that’s why he’s an All-American returner and he’s better this year. I think he’s getting to a point where I may say he’s the best returner, ever. There’s been some good ones, but the things that he does is unbelievable and for him to do it, in both a punt and kick return, it’s unbelievable. He is a special young man, a special player, a special person, he’s the best one ever. Probably the best one that’s ever played. I’d like for some to argue that.”
A distinctive talent that has amassed three passes defensed, an interception, a receiving touchdown, two punt return touchdowns, and two kick return touchdowns, the ceiling for Jones looks uncapped. From Brian Mitchell to Dante Hall and Devin Hester, the importance of possessing pop on special teams has become a must since the dawn of football where field position can be flipped at a moment’s notice.
At 5-foot-8, Jones’ projection as a pro doesn’t come on the defensive side of the football. And while it’s not to say he could receive the opportunity to do so, it’s more of a compliment to just how dynamic he has become with the ball in his hands to where his current draft stock has a jetpack attached to it. While multiple NFL teams currently have a draftable grade on Jones, his ability to fly on the radar thus far this season from the public eye has limited his overall exposure. While the country often gawks at Power Five blue blood talent, the projectability for many players in the Group of Five programs and elsewhere has invited Jones to become the often topic of conversation when it comes to finding the cliche diamond in the rough this upcoming April.
A switch to offense at the next level seems in the cards for Jones who should thrive on designated touches. However, CFB’s current leader in every major return category, Jones’ versatility will be a highly sought-after commodity leading up to the spring. An athlete with the capability to flip a game on its side in the blink of an eye, Jones’ speed, vision in the open field, and potential unlimited ambidexterity have begun to shine the spotlight on one of the country’s most explosive weapons.