USC football hires TCU’s Anthony Jones as new running back coach

The USC football program filled a staff vacancy. The Trojans have hired Anthony Jones Jr. as their new running back coach. Jones will replace Kiel McDonald, who departed a month ago to coach the same position for the Los Angeles Chargers. Jones had been at TCU since 2022.

Jones coached under Lincoln Riley’s younger brother, Garrett Riley, who was TCU’s offensive coordinator for the Horned Frogs’ memorable run to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game two seasons ago. In his first year with the Horned Frogs, he had an immediate effect according to the USC press release published on Monday:

“He tutored Kendre Miller, who was selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. Miller earned 2022 First-Team All-Big 12 honors and was a Doak Walker Award Semifinalist. His 1,399 yards made him TCU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2016. It was also the most by a Horned Frog since LaDainian Tomlinson led the nation with 2,158 in 2000. Jones also coached Emari Demercado to a career-best season with 681 yards rushing, including 150 yards in the CFP Semifinal win over Michigan.”

In alignment with the theme of this current coaching staff, it’s all about development and preparation for the NFL.  Before joining the Horned Frogs, Jones had similar success with developing running backs for the pros at Memphis, having four players drafted in three years (Darrell Henderson and Antonio Gibson in the third round, Tony Pollard in the fourth round, and Kenneth Gainwell in the fifth round).

Jones has a room full of talented backs in Quinten Joyner, A’marion Petersen, Bryan Jackson, and Jo’Quavious “Woody” Marks to work with as the Trojans head into the Big Ten.  It will be interesting to hear the new running back coach discuss the room at spring camp later this month.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire