WESTWOOD—When it comes to football for UCLA, there hasn’t been much going on the past few months. Most of the headlines concerning football in Los Angeles mostly had to do with the NCAA bringing down the hammer on USC for violations committed during the era of Reggie Bush. Unfortunately, when the Bruins were finally able to get some face time it involved three freshmen being kicked out of school for suspicion of felony theft. But for every low point there is always a high one, and it comes in the form of All-World freshman running back Malcolm Jones.
In his senior year at Oaks Christian, Jones rushed for 2,477 yards on 236 attempts and had 45 touchdowns, but his impact was felt in many more areas on the football field. Imagine being the opposing team and watching this running back carve your defense up like a piece of meat, and just when you think the nightmare is over, he trots back onto the field for defense. What’s really amazing is that despite all of his brilliance on offense, he might be even better on defense, where he recorded 141 tackles (95 solo), three interceptions, two sacks, and two fumble recoveries. His performance in 2009 helped his team post a record of 13-1, with the only loss coming in the State Championship game against Serra. Jones did his part in the game, rushing for 321 yards and four touchdowns. His memorable career at Oaks Christian High School allowed him to earn a scholarship to UCLA, but his accolades didn’t end there. Jones was invited to play in the Army All-American game and was named the Gatorade Player of the Year.
In the classroom, Jones was just as sharp as he was with a football in his hand. Even with all the demands of sports, Jones was able to maintain a 3.46 GPA while taking Advanced Placement classes. His academic prowess coupled with his success on the field got him a nomination for Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. The ceremony for this award was a part of the annual ESPY’s, but did not take place during the actual show. Even though the award went to basketball phenom Brandon Knight of Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Malcolm Jones brings a positive light and gives UCLA a lot to look forward to during his tenure as a Bruin. Even if Jones is not able to see action right away, it is safe to say that the future looks very bright with Malcolm Jones in the backfield for the Bruins.