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UTEP Football: The evolution of Aaron Jones

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We look at how Aaron Jones has evolved his overall game since his high school days.

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It's easy to knock out an 1,000 word write up about how great Aaron Jones is, or will be this coming season and how he could bounce back from injury in 2016.

But instead let's look at how the Miners star running back evolved his craft into one of college football's most complete running backs.

High School: Speed, natural talent

He was blessed with natural ability from birth, and of course has elite speed.

When you look at his high school film, he just runs past, and around everyone….

Not saying that was his only skill in high school, but he dusts defenders by at least 20-plus yards on every big run and embarrasses would be tacklers. It looks so easy in my opinion.

Thus showing off his first elite skill that was already refined; his ability to just straight up gas folks.

Freshman Year @ UTEP: Vision and Patience

As the level of competition rose in Aaron's first year as a Miner, his speed separated him from any other freshman back. But his vision helped him run for 5.2 yards per carry in his freshman year as the world was introduced to Aaron Jones.

I think every skill position player who comes into the FBS level struggles with vision, but Jones adapted quickly in camp, and the rest is history.

In 2013, he shared carries behind established veteran Nathan Jeffery, and became the instant lightning to Jeffery's thunder.

Jones' vision was displayed as his number was often called on perimeter runs where he made one cut, and dipped. Or he would have to be patient for a crease to open then he exploded for a gain.

I'm pretty sure everything in high school was slow motion for him in terms in vision, but he adjusted very quickly at the collegiate level and developed those two strong points right away.

Sophomore year: Running in-between the tackles, and THE STIFF-ARM

With the experience he gained from his freshman year, Jones took his craft to another level in his sophomore campaign.

With Jeffery battling injuries throughout the 2014 season, Jones became the Miners main feature back. Jeffery was one of the best in-between the tackles runner UTEP has seen in quite some time, and thrived in those play calls.

But now Jones had to develop that niche, and he did so in impressive fashion against Texas Tech.

He had variations of the stiff arm since his high school days, but Jones developed a major power gene in his sophomore year.

He began physically finishing off runs, and dished out a number of nasty stiff arms at a higher rate than ever before as he now became more effective running in-between the tackles in just a matter of a few game time carries.

Putting on 10 extra pounds in the off-season helped do that, but the willingness to stick his nose into defenders after a major gain turned Jones into something special.

But his work was not done yet.

Pass catching, the extra gear

With speed, vision, and power now ultra-refined, Jones again rose his game another level in just two games last season.

He became a weapon in the passing game, working as a perfect decoy in UTEP's offense, and also developed another gear of speed shown against Arkansas and Texas Tech.

Between the tackles, the home run threat, catching out of the backfield, Jones can do it all.

It took time, but you see exactly how he evolved in a short amount of time into the guy we all love to watch tote the rock.

His evolution into a complete running back is attributed to his hard work, willingness to improve his skill sets, and also the personal knowledge of 'hey I can do really do it all at this level.'

When you watch a guy develop the way Aaron has over the past four or five seasons, things will only get better, and the hope is last year's injury is a just a small blip on the radar that most people will forget if Jones returns to form in 2016.

Get em’ Aaron...