Jones Hopes for Another Shot at NFL

Perry Jones has already dabbled in life after football. But that doesn't mean the former Virginia running back is ready to give up on a potential career in the NFL.

After spending time with the Baltimore Ravens last summer after graduating from UVa, Jones found himself back at the George Welsh Indoor Facility earlier this week. He was among the players who worked out for scouts from 26 teams at UVa's pro timing day.

"I had an okay pro day last year," said Jones, who also worked out for scouts last March. "But I felt like I could definitely come out here and do better than I did last year, which I did in most, if not all of the categories. So we'll just see what happens from here."

Jones finished his college career at UVa ninth all-time at UVa with 3,722 all-purpose yards, and was one of only four players in program history to finish with 1,000 career rushing and receiving yards.

That college performance wasn't enough to get Jones drafted last April. He landed a tryout with the Ravens as a rookie free agent, but never signed a pro contract.

"It's kind of frustrating," Jones said. "But then again, you know only a certain amount of people can be in the NFL at one time. And unfortunately, I just missed the bubble. So we'll see this year, if I do get that chance, which I'm hoping I will, I'll go in with a chip on my shoulder, and just work hard like I always do."

"He has all the skills. He just needs an opportunity," said Jones' former UVa teammate, offensive lineman Luke Bowanko. "And I was glad he got out here and gave it another shot. Because he definitely has that ability. And the character thing, the character aspect is unprecedented. He's a great kid. And I hope he showed out today, and gave somebody something that they liked."

With his football career on hold, Jones has been working as a teaching assistant at Mary C. Greer Elementary School in Albemarle County. He also "definitely had fun" serving as the running backs coach for the football team at Albemarle High School last fall.

But Jones says he's also been working out every day. And he hopes his second shot at performing for NFL scouts pays off.

"It helped me a lot," he said. "I came out here and I was more relaxed. I've been through this process before. So hopefully I'll get a chance, and go into somebody's camp with the same mentality that I had today. Just to prove myself even more."


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