Alabama return man/wide receiver Christion Jones became the first player since Kentucky‘s Derek Abney in 2002 to return a punt return and kick return both for touchdowns, while also hauling in a touchdown pass in the same game.
Jones unwrapped Alabama’s season with his 72-yard punt return for touchdown, coming in the first two minutes of the game. When Alabama’s lead got somewhat tight during the second quarter, 21-10, Jones showcased his inner-Deion Sanders, breaking open for a 94-yard kickoff return to the house. The following quarter, when Alabama’s offense was stagnant, Jones caught the lone Crimson Tide touchdown pass from quarterback A.J McCarron.
Last season, Jones fielded 20 punts for 212 yards, while also serving as the Tide’s part-time kick returner in 2012, taking back the Tide’s first return for a touchdown since 2010 in the Ole Miss game. Jones is most notable for replacing Marquis Maze at punt returner during the 2012 BCS National Championship game against LSU as a true freshman.
2012 was considered by many as Jones’ coming out party, with starts in 10 of Alabama’s 13 regular season games at the “H” receiver position. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound receiver out of Adamsville, Ala., caught a pass in every game last season besides in the Cowboys Classic against Michigan. Jones finished 2012 fourth on the Alabama team in all-purpose yards with 728 yards for the season. Meanwhile, Jones is out to a great start, leading the team after week one in all-purpose yards, 246, that came against Virginia Tech. Alabama only had 206 total yards for the entire game Saturday.
Jones single handedly beat the Hokies in the Georgia Dome, and no matter what happens from this point forward in his career, he will always be an Alabama legend. Jones comes into the game of the year in two weeks at Texas A&M, as the first Crimson Tide player to score on a kick return, punt return and a passing reception in the same game.
The former defensive back turned wide receiver may have pushed the Alabama three-peat talk off the dinner table after this performance, at least until Monday, when the rematch against Aggies circus act of a quarterback Johnny Manziel starts tugging at the heartstrings of Tide Nation.