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UCLA football: Malcolm Jones taking advantage of his last chance

August 10, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA running back Malcolm Jones hopes to finally make an impact for the Bruins in 2013.
UCLA running back Malcolm Jones hopes to finally make an impact for the Bruins… (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles…)

Running back Malcolm Jones lowered his shoulder and charged through players for a big gain Saturday. Later, he burst through a hole and chewed up more yardage.

The 2009 National Gatorade player of the year is doing all he can to wedge himself back into the UCLA program.

Jones walked away from UCLA after one game a year ago, forfeiting his scholarship. He considered transferring to San Diego State, but then changed his mind last winter. He returned to the Bruins as a walk-on for his senior season.

Through four practices, none of which were in full pads, Jones showed an ability and desire that coaches felt had been lacking.

“We talked all spring how he needed to lower his pad level, get behind his pads and run with a more angry attitude,” Coach Jim Mora said. “We’re seeing that. If he continues to make progress, he’s a weapon we can have.”

Maybe even win back his scholarship.

“We have scholarships available, but I don’t want to hand any out too early,” Mora said. Jones, Mora said, “seems to have set his jaw. It’s great seeing a kid starting to figure it out before it was too late."

Jones, who played at Westlake Village Oaks Christian High, had 313 yards rushing in his first two-plus seasons at UCLA.

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