Former Alabama running back Tyren Jones signed with Hutchinson junior college on Monday.
Jones, the former Walton star, was dismissed by Alabama coach Nick Saban after being arrested for marijuana possession this past spring.
“We’ve been talking to Tyren for a long time,” Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades told the AJC on Monday night. “He really just wasn’t ready to do anything until about I’d say three or four weeks ago.
“We started feeling like he was getting a little more serious, and then two weeks ago, he came out on a visit. He got to see the place in person, and get a feel for our coaches. We’ve got a few guys on campus this summer, and he was able to meet those guys. He got a good feel for it.”
Hutchinson, which is located in Kansas, has developed a Georgia pipeline for former elite prospects who are looking for a second chance after things went wrong with the first college they signed with out of high school.
Jones will be joined in Hutchinson’s backfield by former Milton standout Treyvon Paulk, who was dismissed from Tennessee after his alleged role in a domestic violence incident. Another running back on this year’s team could be Travis Custis, who left Georgia Tech after being declared academically ineligible (Custis sat out the spring at Hutchinson due to an undisclosed violation of team rules).
“That’s kind of our niche in college football — we’re a second-chance place for some guys for a variety of reasons,” Rhoades explained. “Sometimes it’s a conduct issue, sometimes it’s an academic issue, and sometimes the guy is under-recruited.
“I think my big job is to hear out these guys and try to sort out things … you know, just get a feel for them. Are they humble kids that made mistakes? Are they worth giving another shot to?
“I really like Treyvon and Tyren, in terms of the type of kids they are. Every kid is capable of making a mistake, but I don’t feel like these guys are any more than a risk than any kid coming in. They are probably even less of a risk because they’ve learned their lesson.”
Jones was considered by many to be the state of Georgia’s top prospect at running back in 2013, signing with Alabama over UGA.