Tennessee Wide Receiver Declares for NFL Draft

    by -

    Just a day after two of his Tennessee teammates declared for the NFL Draft, a Tennessee wide receiver did the same on Thursday. With a post on social media, Tennessee wide receiver Velus Jones Jr declared for the NFL Draft and thanked the Tennessee fanbase on his way out.

    In his second season at Tennessee, Jones Jr. was a game-changing player. In his first season teamed up with Josh Heupel, Jones Jr spent much of the season leading Tennessee in the receiving category and ended up finishing second on the team. In addition, Jones Jr was named a co-selection for the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year.

    “I would also like to thank each and every person that has played a part in my success thus far and those to come,” Jones Jr said in a post on Twitter. “Thank you to the Coaching Staff for believing in me and affording me the opportunity to pursue my dreams.”

    Even though Jones Jr did declare for the draft, he had run out of eligibility after a long and eventful career. Originally from Saraland, AL, Jones Jr spent his first four years on the west coast at USC and the final two on Rocky Top at Tennessee.

    “Thank you to Vol Nation for being the loudest, craziest traveling fanbase in college football,” Jones Jr said on Twitter. “This 2021 season has shown me why Tennessee is the best university in the world. You all have made this experience unbelievable, and I cannot thank you enough. Coming to the University of Tennessee was one of the best decisions I ever made. I will forever bleed Orange and White as a proud graduate and Vol for Life! Rocky Top will always be home sweet home.”

    After the 2021 season, Jones Jr was also a first-team All-SEC selection in the AP Poll. After hauling in 280 yards and three touchdowns in his first year with Tennessee, Jones Jr was tremendous in his second go-around. Jones finished his final collegiate season with 807 yards and seven receiving touchdowns and was instrumental in Tennessee’s high-octane offense.

    On Dec. 1, Jones Jr did accept an invitation to participate in the 2022 Senior Bowl. After his selection, Jones Jr said that he was honored to play in this game, something that he grew up watching as a child in Alabama. In addition, Tennessee cornerback Alontae Taylor will also be playing in the Senior Bowl, which will take place on Feb. 5, 2022.

    Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.