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Texas starting S Brandon Jones leaning towards returning for senior season

The back-end leader of the defense is leaning towards coming back.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas vs Oklahoma Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the tough outcome of today’s game, starting strong safety Brandon Jones had some encouraging words to say about his future.

“Honestly, going to just take it one step at a time. This feeling hurts. I know what we have and what we’re capable of doing so I really want to be a part of that next year.” Jones said when asked of his plans for next season, adding that he wants to be a team captain.

When asked whether he was leaning towards coming back, Jones outright said, “Yeah, I want to be able to... this is not a good feeling, in my opinion. Just want to be able to hopefully get back [to the Big 12 Championship] and have bigger outcomes.”

After a strong start to his junior season, Jones was plagued with some injuries down the stretch of conference play. He missed a stretch of three straight games against Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Iowa State due to an ankle injury. In his first back against Kansas, he left the game in the first quarter after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit. These injuries may be the difference for whether he departs or stays, as he was looking like an NFL prospect before the injuries.

In nine game appearances, Jones totaled 66 tackles (44 solo), 5.5 tackles for a loss, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. Jones provided sure-handed tackling in space for a secondary that struggled in that category. While he possesses NFL traits with his frame, impressive closing ability, and sideline-to-sideline range, there’s room for improvement in coverage. If Jones returns, he’ll provide experience and leadership for a young, up-and-coming secondary. His presence would be vital for this team next season.