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Velus Jones Returning to USC

It looks as though Velus Jones will be back with the Trojans this fall, the wide receiver signaled Monday morning.

Jones, a redshirt junior wide receiver who has also handled kickoff return duties at USC, entered the transfer portal in early March. He took an official visit to Auburn in late April and it looked as though staying closer to home would be an option for the speedy, 6-foot, 190-pound receiver.

But Monday, Jones signaled that he would be back at USC this fall.

Jones is the second player to return at USC after submitting his name into the transfer portal, as cornerback Greg Johnson tested the portal but removed his name shortly after and was able to take part in spring ball.

Jones has 30 receptions for 312 yards and a touchdown in his career, to go along with 52 kickoff returns for 1,243 yards. If he does indeed return this fall, it will be interesting to see where he fits into the receiver rotation. The Trojans were short at that position this past spring and absolutely need addition depth at slot receiver. Jones never truly blossomed as a route-runner during his first year years at USC, and having missed all of spring ball and the installation of a new offense could put him behind. But the need for bodies at receiver is real, and Jones brings some needed experience in terms of playing time and in the USC program. His pure speed is something that USC’s taller receivers don’t have, so that aspect of his game should provide a boost to the unit and the offense.

But the biggest boost could be felt on special teams, as the Trojans sent out a number of veteran offensive players to handle kick returns this spring, including Michael Pittman, Stephen Carr, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and others. If Jones takes over that duty, something he has done relatively well during his USC career, he could provide one special teams answer.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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