The long and winding road for wide receiver Velus Jones will now, finally, bring him to the SEC. The USC graduate transfer has announced he is moving on to Tennessee.
Jones announced his transfer decision with a statement share don his Twitter account. As a graduate transfer, Jones will be eligible to play his final season of eligibility with the Vols in 2020.
“I want to thank the University of Southern California and Clay Helton for allowing me to get my degree and also for the life changing experiences and connections I will have for life,” Jones said in his statement. “With that being said, I will play my last year of college football at the University of Tennessee.”
Jones appeared in 12 games for the Trojans in 2019, in which he caught six passes for 35 yards. Jones originally committed to Alabama during his recruiting process. He then flipped to USC, then to Oklahoma, and back to USC. Jones previously entered the NCAA transfer portal in 2019 before ultimately deciding to stay put with the Trojans for the 2019 season. Now, he will travel to Tennessee for one more year of college football.
The transfer portal was busy on the first day of March adding names from the USC Trojans. Defensive back Greg Johnson and wide receiver Velus Jones, according to reports from Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com, are the newest entries to the NCAA transfer portal this offseason. That brings the offseason transfer portal total up to 10 players for the Trojans at this point in time.
Johnson was a four-star recruit in USC’s Class of 2017. The Los Angeles native played in 10 games for the Trojans last fall after sitting out the 2017 season with a redshirt. In those 10 games, Johnson recorded 15 tackles and broke up three passes. He will have three years of eligibility remaining but will have to sit out the 2019 season if he lands at another FBS program. Of course, he could always try filing for a waiver to be eligible this fall too and hope the NCAA grants him immediate eligibility.
Jones was a three-star recruit in the Class of 2016. He has yet to find his role within the program though, and perhaps a change of scenery and a chance to break in with a new program will do him well. What makes this more troubling for USC is the Trojans now have seen four wide receivers enter the NCAA transfer portal, with Randal Grimes already having made his transfer to Minnesota official. And of course, this offseason was highlighted by the quick departure of early signing period commitment Bru McCoy, a five-star wide receiver, backing out of his decision to attend USC and later sign with Texas.
In all, there are at least 10 players currently showing up in the NCAA transfer portal from USC. Three players have officially moved on. A player in the transfer portal can officially make contact with other programs but is not necessarily officially gone from their current program. Players can withdraw their name from the portal at any time, as some players around the country have. We’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the players choosing to evaluate their options a bit more this offseason end up with their status at USC, but this has been quite a turbulent offseason for the Men of Troy.