2017 NFL Draft interview: UTEP RB Aaron Jones on his NFL expectations

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AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 10: Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones enters the NFL with a new set of expectations after meeting every one of his collegiate goals at Texas-El Paso.

When Aaron Jones arrived at the University of Texas-El Paso, he set a personal goal to leave as the school’s all-time leading rusher. Four years and 4,114 rushing yards later, Jones is leaving the Miners with that very title, along with a handful of other school records.

Last season, Jones averaged 7.7 yards/carry and had 20 total touchdowns. He had four games last season of over 200 rushing yards and he even eclipsed the 300-yard barrier in the final game of his collegiate career. For those who question Jones’ level of competition, it might help to know he also wowed at the NFL Combine, finishing second among RBs in the 3-cone drill and vertical jump and third overall in the broad jump, the 20-yard shuttle and the 60-yard shuttle.

We recently sat down with Jones to discuss his dreams of playing in the NFL and the expectations he has for the looming NFL Draft weekend.

How far back does the dream go to play in the NFL?

It goes all the way back to when I first started playing football and understanding the game and watching it with my dad. I told him, “I’m gonna play in the NFL.”

How old were you at that time?

I was five-years-old.

Who did you grow up watching?

The Cowboys. But we would sit there and watch football all day on Sunday and Monday and Thursday as well. [Laughs]

Every kid has those sorts of grand dreams to be a professional athlete, but it’s another thing to know you can do it at that level. Was there a turning point when you realized it was something you could realistically chase?

It was my freshman year when I got un-redshirted. The head coach’s intent was to redshirt everybody. I had a sense of it then, but during my freshman year, we played Texas A&M. They were a big school and I got to score my first touchdown and I realized, “I can play with these guys.” That was when they had Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans, so I was excited about that.

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