Notre Dame RB Tony Jones Jr. runs into All-Star opportunity

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

The longest, most spectacular run of Tony Jones Jr.’s Notre Dame football career came in his final game in an Irish uniform.

Now he’ll get a chance to encore that 84-yard TD rush, from ND’s 33-9 Camping World Bowl romp over Iowa State on Dec. 28, and in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla., no less.

Three days after announcing he would be leaving his fifth-year option at Notre Dame on the table to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, Jones accepted an invitation to play in the 95th East-West Shrine Game.

The senior-only All-Star showcase, for NFL scouts and personnel types, will be held Jan. 18 (3 p.m. EST; NFL Network) at Tropicana Field.

Jones joins teammate, wide receiver Chris Finke on the Shrine Game roster.

The 5-11, 224-pound senior was Notre Dame’s leading rusher in 2019 with 857 yards on 144 carries and six TDs. His 5.95 yards per carry ranked 24th nationally. Jones also caught 15 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown as the Irish finished 11-2.

Five former ND players have accepted invitations to play in the premier All-Star event, the Senior Bowl. That game will be held Jan. 25 in Mobile, Ala. (2:30 p.m. EST: NFL Network).

Wide receiver Chase Claypool, the Camping World Bowl MVP, leads that contingent. Also scheduled to play from the Irish are safeties Jalen Elliott and Alohi Gilman, defensive end Khalid Kareem and cornerback Troy Pride Jr.

Senior defensive end Jamir Jones has accepted an invitation to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Jan. 18 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. (7 p.m. EST; NFL Network).

Former South Bend Adams standout Denny Pinter, who played offensive tackle for Ball State, is also scheduled to play in that game.

Notre Dame’s Tony Jones Jr. (6) will play in the East-West Shrine Game, Jan. 18 in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Fla.