Wyoming’s Victor Jones embracing second chance
LARAMIE -- Victor Jones isn't detailing what landed him in hot water last November and eventually led to his dismissal from the Wyoming football team.
However, the junior defensive end from Sacramento doesn't mind telling you -- he learned his lesson.
It all came to an emotional finale before the Cowboys home opener against Montana State.
"It almost brought tears to my eyes," Jones said of the moment he trotted out onto the field to take his first snap in nearly 10 months. "It was almost over. That feeling of coming back and hearing the fans going crazy was a surreal feeling.
"I don't take that for granted anymore. To be able to play college football is a beautiful thing. It's a blessing every Saturday."
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl suspended Jones indefinitely on Nov. 25. The charge? A violation of team rules. Bohl stated during the offseason that Jones could work his way back on the squad, but he had to do it from home in California.
Jones said he was tasked with maintaining a better GPA. Obviously, any additional trouble would've spelled the end. Instead, the former three-star recruit buried his head in the books, training and the weight room.
"It was a tough situation, but it helped me in a lot of ways," Jones said. "I grew a lot as a person. I became a better man and a better football player."
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The latter part of that statement has become apparent through Wyoming's first four games.
Jones leads the team with 3.5 quarterback sacks. He's registered at least half-a-sack in every game this fall. He had just three prior in his entire UW career.
The 6-foot-4, 245-pounder also has five tackles to go along with a forced fumble. Jones, who has bounced between the interior defensive front and the end, has found his way, backing up senior captain Garrett Crall.
That doesn't mean Jones hasn't slid over to the middle a time or two. Defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel, at times, has featured four ends at once on the line with Jones, Crall, Solomon Byrd and Jaylen Pate.
Jones now has 53 career tackles under his belt to go along with 6.5 sacks and a pass breakup.
With a trip to Air Force upcoming this Saturday, Jones could play a major role in the outcome. His job is to help contain a triple-option offense that leads the nation, averaging 367 rushing yards per game.
Jones relished the opportunity after dropping a heartbreaker in 2019.
"I kind of like playing against Air Force," he said with a chuckle. "You have one job. If you do your job and play hard, there's actually less to think about. Besides cutting at your legs every two plays, it's not that bad."
Despite being away from his teammates for so long, Jones credits his fast start with the motivation from nearly losing it all.
"I'm just coming out ready to work every day," he said. "It was a very unfortunate situation and it could've all been over with."
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- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players