Virginia running back Thomas Jones holds up a Cardinals' jersey after being selected as the team's No. 1 pick, seventh overall, in the NFL draft Saturday in New York.
April 15, 2000
By HAL BOCK
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Running back Thomas Jones earned his psychology degree in three years at the University of Virginia and then stuck around to break school records for all-purpose yards (2,195), single-season rushing (1,908), and career rushing (4,108).
So while other top NFL prospects sipped soft drinks at a predraft luncheon, Jones displayed his priority, carrying a football under his arm, just in case some team was watching.
And if they had overlooked him - unlikely - Jones provided a scouting report on himself.
"Quick. Strong. Catches the ball well. Blocks well. Durable. Smart."
Then he paused. "That's what I'd say about myself," he said. "I watch films. I try to be perfect on every play."
The Arizona Cardinals watched too and made Jones the seventh pick of the first round.
Even though he seems a bit undersized at 5-foot-10 and 205 pounds, Jones was picked ahead of bigger guys like Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, who went to the New York Giants with the 11th pick.
"I feel I'm a good back," Jones said. "There are a lot of good backs in the draft. To be the first one taken wouldn't be a bad thing, either."
He was the second running back to go. The first player chosen was Penn State defensive end Courtney Brown, picked by the Cleveland Browns.
That left Brown's college teammate, linebacker LaVar Arrington and tackle Chris Samuels of Alabama for the Washington Redskins, who had the second and third picks.
Then Cincinnati picked wide receiver Peter Warrick of Florida State and Baltimore picked running back Jamal Lewis of Tennessee, surprising some people who thought Jones would be the first running back to go.
Philadelphia went for Florida State defensive tackle Corey Simon with the sixth pick before Arizona took Jones.
Before the draft, Arrington was asked how he thought the first round would evolve. The linebacker, who is described by some scouts as the next Lawrence Taylor, smiled.
"You never know what's going to happen," he said. "I might know, but I'm not telling."
Warrick, once considered a likely No. 1, slipped because of a scrape with the law in his last season at Florida State. He was arrested after paying $21.40 for $412.38 worth of clothing in a department store, was suspended for two games and placed on probation after a plea bargain.
There also were some lackluster times in the 40-yard dash.
"People are judging me by what I did," Warrick said. "It was something
that happened. What I did was wrong, but I'm a better person than that. Don't
judge me by what I did. I can't please everybody. I can't be what somebody else
wants. I can only be myself."
Short-Handed Cavaliers' Struggles ContinueWomen's Basketball2/8/16Since losing All-ACC guard Faith Randolph, the Virginia women's basketball team has lost six of eight games. UVA hosts Syracuse on Thursday night.Selflessness Fuels Cavaliers' Latest TriumphMen's Basketball2/6/16Ninth-ranked Virginia totaled 17 assists in its 64-50 win over ACC rival Pittsburgh at the sold-out Petersen Events Center on Saturday afternoon.'Hoos Heading Into Hostile TerritoryMen's Basketball2/5/16At noon Saturday, in a game to be shown on the ACC Network, No. 9 Virginia (18-4, 7-3) plays Pitt (17-4, 6-3) at the Petersen Events Center.
Director of News Content
A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
UVA Returns Home to Host Duke on Saturday
Football | 11/16/2015
Virginia returns home to the Jeffersonian confines of Scott Stadium on Saturday to host the Duke ...
Kickoff for UVA-Virginia Tech Game to Be Announced Nov. 21
Football | 11/16/2015
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today the start time for Virginia's Nov. 28 home football...
Severin Named ACC Receiver of the Week
Football | 11/16/2015
Virginia senior wide receiver Canaan Severin (Marlborough, Mass.) was named ACC Receiver of the...
Jeff White: Severin Shines Again in Losing Effort
Football | 11/15/2015
In a 38-31 loss to ACC foe Louisville, senior wide receiver Canaan Severin had eight receptions...
Kickoff Time for UVA's Home Game vs. Duke is Set for 3:30 p.m.
Football | 11/9/2015
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today the start time for Virginia's Nov. 21 home football...
Virginia Drops 38-31 Decision to Louisville
Football | 11/14/2015
QB Matt Johns led the team with 260 passing yards and four touchdowns in loss to the Louisville...
Farm Bureau Insurance Coach's Corner with Mike London...
Football | 11/17/2015
The weekly "Coach's Corner with Mike London" radio program, presented by Virginia Farm Bureau...
Jeff White: Frye Closing Cavalier Career With Flourish
Football | 11/13/2015
With 64 points, senior kicker Ian Frye is the leading scorer for Virginia (3-6, 2-3), which...
- Online Stores