Jones could be top back taken in draft

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech running back Kevin Jones
will leave school a year early and enter the NFL draft.

"It is time for me to take the next step in my life, and that
step is the NFL," Jones said Wednesday with tears in his eyes.

The 6-foot, 221-pound junior from Chester, Pa., was touted as
the nation's top high school tailback and now could be the top
running back in the draft. Jones rushed for a school-record 1,494
yards this season, averaging 5.6 yards for 265 carries and scoring
20 touchdowns.

"I personally feel he's the best back ever to play for Virginia
Tech," running backs coach Billy Hite said.

Jones also rushed for at least 100 yards a school-record eight
times in a nine-game span for the Hokies (8-4) this season and had
a record 241 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-28 loss at

In three years with the Hokies, Jones ran for a 3,322 yards and
34 touchdowns. As a backup, he rushed for 957 yards as a freshman
and 871 yards during a sophomore year while sharing time with Lee
Suggs and missing almost two full games with a hamstring injury.

Jones will play his last college game in the Insight Bowl on
Dec. 26 in Phoenix against California.