On Wednesday, Tennessee officially welcomed USC transfer Velus Jones. The veteran receiver and kick returner announced his decision to move from Los Angeles to Knoxville earlier this month. Tennessee confirmed the move this week.
“We are very excited to welcome Velus to our Tennessee football family,” Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “Velus is a dynamic player with the ball in his hands. He has strength, speed and a high football IQ. He will immediately add veteran leadership to our team and be an impact player as both a receiver and as a return guy. He’s an all-conference talent, and I know he is ready to get to work with the rest of our team.”
Tennessee has an opening at punt returner with the departure of Marquez Callaway. Jones could also grab the kick return job, giving Ty Chandler or Eric Gray a break.
The Volunteers saw Callaway, along with Jauan Jennings and Tyler Byrd each move on after last season. That’s quite a few snaps now up for grabs, with just Josh Palmer and Brandon Johnson remaining as veterans. Ramel Keyton is the next likely guy in line, while someone like Georgia transfer Deangelo Gibbs is a bit of a wildcard.
Jones didn’t make a huge impact offensively for the Trojans, catching 36 passes for 347 yards over the last three years. The former three-star recruit from Alabama averaged 24 yards per kick return though, taking one back for a touchdown last season.