After spending one semester at Toms River (N.J.) Toms River North, Rivals100 running back Dwayne Jones is heading back home for his senior season.
"Dwayne is coming back to Lakewood High School," said new Lakewood head coach Don Barnes. "We might have a few obstacles to overcome, but I don't think it will be a problem."
Jones, a 6-foot-1, 233-pounder who is ranked as the No. 54 player in the country by Rivals.com, gained 953 yards on 103 carries with 12 touchdowns in only six games at Lakewood last year. He got into some undiclosed trouble at the school and transferred to Toms River North.
"It's not going to be a problem at all," said Barnes, who has known Jones for most of his life. "Dwayne is a really good kid who just made a mistake. Everyone who knows him knows he's a great kid."
And a great running back. As a sophomore, Jones had 1,067 yards and 13 scores and he has the outside speed to run away from defenders and the power to plow them over.
"He's like a bull," said Barnes. "He's made to be a power-back and play in a Power-I formation or as a single back. However, this year we're changing the offense at Lakewood."
How will it affect Jones?
"We're going to run a double option like they do at Air Force, so a lot of kids will get carries," he said. "Dwayne will be most effective in the second half when he can just overpower a tired defense. He's used to getting 90-percent of the carries and that won't happen this year, but he knows that.
"I told him he could stay at Toms River North, a great school, and he'd gain 3,000 yards his senior year. But he wants to play with the kids he's played with for the last three years. It's important to him."
Jones has plenty of interest from major colleges. He has offers from Virginia, Boston College, West Virginia, Rutgers, Nebraska, Syracuse and many others and is hoping for Ohio State, Michigan and Virginia Tech to offer soon.
"I'm not sure what schools he likes best," said Barnes. "I know he'll want to take official visits so he can make sure he fits in."