Just got the confirmation from Datone Jones that he is returning for his senior season.
Jones finished with 41 tackles, three sacks and 6.5 tackles-for-loss as a redshirt junior, a year removed from a broken foot suffered early in training camp. Jones struggled out of the gate but seemed to find a home as a hybrid end/tackle, using his big frame in the interior to help free up the perimeter during UCLA’s late-season surge.
Jones, along with running back Johnathan Franklin, explored leaving for the NFL Draft, but the deadline for entry was yesterday. Franklin said last week that he would return to play for Noel Mazzone, but Jones’ status was undetermined until recently.
It will be interesting to see how UCLA uses Jones next season, as the Bruins have more returning at end than at tackle. Damien Holmes, Keenan Graham, Iuta Tepa, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Aramide Olaniyan and Sam Tai coming back at defensive end and Cassius Marsh, Donovan Carter, Brandon Willis and Seali’i Epenesa back at defensive tackle.