Honors & Awards
» Jim Thorpe Award Watch List (2017)
» Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches, Media, 2016)
» Academic All-Big Ten (2015)
» Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Spring 2015; Fall 2015, 2017)
» Brook Berringer Citizenship Team (2017)
» Tom Osborne Citizenship Team (2017)
Chris Jones completed his Nebraska career in 2017, batting though an off-season injury to be an important contributor in the Husker secondary for the fourth consecutive season. The 6-0, 195-pound Jones was one of the Big Ten's top cornerbacks when healthy.
Jones missed the first half of his senior season after undergoing off-season knee surgery in mid-July. He quickly earned a spot in the starting lineup upon his return and helped to solidify the Nebraska secondary. Jones had a standout 2016 season, helping Nebraska feature one of the nation's most improved defenses, en route to earning all-conference accolades.
Off the field, Jones was a 2015 Academic All-Big Ten selection, and a member of the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. He earned his degree in soclology in December of 2017, finishing his degree work in just 3 1/2 years.
Jones missed the first five games of the season, before returning against Wisconsin. He played in seven overall contests, with starts in the final six games. Jones had seven tackles, including six solo stops, with two tackles each against Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa. He added a pass breakup against the Nittany Lions.
Jones started all 13 games and was an honorable-mention All-Big Ten choice. Jones had three interceptions, including a 33-yard return for a touchdown at Indiana, and was second on the team with 10 pass breakups. He finished with 37 tackles, including 33 solo stops, and added three tackles for loss and a sack.
Jones had his first interception in the opener against Fresno State and added his second pick a week later against Wyoming, returning the interception 27 yards. He totaled a career-high six tackles against Oregon and broke up a pass as the Blackshirts shut down the Duck passing game. Jones had a strong effort at Northwestern, registering three solo tackles, two tackles for loss and a two-yard sack. He also broke up two passes in the Husker victory.
Jones set the tone at Indiana with a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown, giving NU a 17-0 first-quarter lead. He added two breakups in the win over the Hoosiers. Jones had five solo stops against both Wisconsin and Ohio State and had four solo tackles and a breakup against Minnesota. He had four tackles and a breakup in the Music City Bowl.
Jones played in all 13 games and started seven games at cornerback. He finished the season with 25 tackles, including 21 solo stops, while adding two interceptions, five breakups, two tackles for loss and a sack.
In non-conference play, Jones had three tackles each against South Alabama, Miami and Southern Miss, and had a five-yard sack against the Golden Eagles. Jones added three-tackle games in Big Ten play against Wisconsin and Michigan State, and had a pair of tackles in four other games. He registered his first career interception in the second quarter at Rutgers. His second pick of the season ended UCLA’s final scoring threat in a 37-29 victory in the Foster Farms Bowl.
Jones played in 12 games, primarily on special teams. He had seven tackles, including five solo stops, and had a fumble recovery on punt coverage against Iowa. Five of Jones’ seven tackles were on special teams, including two at Northwestern. He had two solo tackles on defense at Fresno State.
Before Nebraska (Sandalwood HS)
Jones’ play as a senior helped Coach Adam Geis’ Sandalwood High School team to an 8-3 record and a berth in the Class 8A state playoffs in 2013. Jones keyed the Sandalwood defense, making 32 tackles, while intercepting four passes, including one that he returned for a touchdown. Jones was named to the All-First Coast team by the Florida Times-Union.
As a junior, Jones helped Sandalwood to a 7-3 record, and the school narrowly missed the Class 8A playoffs. Jones chose Nebraska after also visiting Purdue, and also had offers from South Florida, Western Kentucky, Florida International and Western Michigan. Jones was regarded as one of the top 60 athlete prospects in the country by 247 Sports.
Jones was born on Aug. 13, 1995, and Lucille Payton is his legal guardian. Jones has been named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll three times. Jones has participated in community outreach efforts with Uplifting Athletes, Husker Heroes, School is Cool, and local hospital and school visits. He was a member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team and Brook Berringer Citizenship Team in 2017.