Tennessee will get a veteran receiver back for 2021, which is a big development considering the exit of Josh Palmer and Brandon Johnson. Velus Jones Jr. announced that he will play for Tennessee once again next season, coming back for a second senior season.
The 6-0, 200 pound receiver is a former three-star prospect, coming out of the state of Alabama. Jones is taking advantage of a ruling by the NCAA which froze eligibility for the 2020 season. This past year was his first in Knoxville after transferring from USC.
Jones caught 22 passes for 280 yards and three scores this season. He was used in the short passing game, taking quick screens and jet sweeps as sort of an extension of Tennessee’s run game. He also handled 18 kickoff returns, with his longest effort topping out at 40 yards.
Tennessee will shift from a veteran receiver room to a young one with Palmer and Johnson no longer with the program. Jalin Hyatt could very well become the top target, while a host of others will fight it out in camp. Cedric Tillman and Ramel Keyton have been in the program the longest, but Malachi Wideman, Jimmy Calloway and Jimmy Holiday will all now enter the mix for playing time. Veteran Deangelo Gibbs opted out of the 2020 season and remains a wildcard here.
Jones will likely remain in his role from the 2020 season, which seemed to expand later in the year. He had his best outing against Vanderbilt, catching seven passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.