Marcus Jones named ESPN Freshman All-American

TROY, Ala. Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year Marcus Jones bolstered his resume as he was named to the ESPN Freshman All-America Team, the network announced Monday. Jones is one of just two Group of Five conference players to appear the ESPN Freshman All-American Team.

Troy’s first freshman All-American since Jordan Chunn in 2013, Jones was named the Sun Belt’s top freshman in a vote by the league’s coaches and media last week – Troy’s first since Corey Robinson in 2010. Additionally, Jones was named all-league as a return specialist and all-purpose player.

The native of Enterprise, Ala., has scored four touchdowns on the season entering Troy’s appearance in the New Orleans Bowl – three on kickoff returns and one pick-six. The three kick return touchdowns are the third-most by a player nationally and set the school single-season record; as well as tying the school’s career record. He also tied the NCAA record with two kickoff returns for touchdowns in one game against Coastal Carolina, only the 24th player in FBS history to accomplish the feat.

Heading into the New Orleans Bowl, Jones has returned 24 kicks for 789 yards for an average of 32.9 yards to set the Sun Belt’s single-season kick return average record – the average is the fourth best and the yardage is the ninth most in FBS this season.

Jones is third nationally with three all-purpose plays of 90 or more yards. In addition to two long-kickoff returns, Jones intercepted a pass and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Troy's Sun Belt title-clinching victory at Arkansas State.

Jones and the rest of the Trojans take the field in search of their 11th victory of the season when they square off against North Texas in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.