PISCATAWAY, NJ – Senior Nate Jones (Scotch Plains, NJ) has been named the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Week, for games played during the week ending Saturday, November 16. Jones earned the third BIG EAST weekly honor of his career and the fifth for a Rutgers player this season.
BC’s Derrick Knight and WVU’s Quincy Wilson shared Offensive Player of the Week honors, while WVU’s Grant Wiley was named Defensive Player of the Week.
Jones had two key special teams plays last Saturday vs. Boston College. In the second quarter, after Boston College closed the gap to 15-13, Jones received a kickoff on his own 19-yard line and raced 81 yards for his first touchdown of the season and a 22-13 RU lead. The return was his third career for a score, tying Ron Allen (1988-91) for the school record.
Jones also forced a fumble by BC punter Jeff Gomulinksi in the first quarter, which was recovered by Rutgers and set up a 28-yard field goal, extending Rutgers’ lead to 12-0 at that point.
“Nate does so many things for us, whether it is defensively or in a special teams role,” said Schiano. “He is really a complete player. Teams have kicked away from him this year, so he hasn’t had that many opportunities to return kicks this year. We were excited when he finally popped one this week.”
Jones has returned 14 kicks this season for 378 yards – an average of 27.0 – and is ranked third in the BIG EAST in that category. He led the league with a 28.3 average last season (6th nationally) en route to Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
Jones joins the following Rutgers players who have also earned awards from
the conference this season:
Tres Moses - Sept. 1 - Special Teams (returned punt 66 yds for TD)
Justise Hairston - Sept. 29 - Offensive (rushed for 161 yards, 4 TD)
Brandon Haw - Sept. 29 - Special Teams (returned blocked FG for TD)
Ryan Hart - Oct. 27 - Offensive (Completed 71.4% of his passes, threw for 316 yards)