The countdown to kickoff is on. Over the 100 days before Texas takes on Maryland, we’re counting down the 100 best players the Longhorns will face in 2017. This series is all about impressing your friends at pregame tailgates and watch parties, so grab a notepad and buckle up.
Who is he?
Deshaunte Jones won’t mind that Iowa State star wide receiver Allen Lazard chose to stay for his senior season. Jones, a sophomore, was the Cyclones’ second-leading receiver last season playing from the slot. With teams concentrating on Lazard, he should have plenty of seams to exploit again this season. The former high school quarterback from Cincinnati caught 37 passes for 536 yards and 6 touchdowns as a freshman.
What should the Longhorns watch for?
Catch him if you can. Once Jones gets the ball in his hands, he’s extremely difficult to bring down. Part of that is due to his size. At 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, there’s not a whole lot to grab onto. But there’s more to it than being small. Jones is extremely shifty, and his vision in tight spaces is better than most receivers. Those are skills he developed running the triple option for Colerain High School.
Jones led Iowa State with five 40-yard receptions and two multi-touchdown games, impressive considering who he’s sharing the field with. Lazard is one of the best receivers in all of college football. This season, teams can’t afford to ignore his young protege.
Jones had a career day against the Longhorns last fall, one of few bright spots for the Cyclones in a 27-6 blowout loss. He hauled in five catches for 87 yards.
Catch up on the series
No. 77: Anu Solomon