Jones Will Be Honored During Saturday’s BancorpSouth Grove Bowl
OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss senior defensive end Jason Jones was named the 23rd recipient of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award Thursday. He will wear Mullins’ No. 38 jersey throughout the 2012 season.
The award, sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, honors the late Chucky Mullins, who had his Ole Miss career come to an end during the 1989 Homecoming game against Vanderbilt when he was paralyzed after making a tackle. After returning to his studies at Ole Miss, Mullins passed away on May 6, 1991.
The selection of Jones was announced by head coach Hugh Freeze during Thursday night’s Chucky Mullins Courage Award Banquet, which is sponsored each year by Phi Beta Sigma and Phi Kappa Psi fraternities. Former college and NFL standout and current CBS college football analyst Spencer Tillman was the night’s guest speaker.
The No. 38 is returning to the field for the second straight year since it became just the second retired number in the Rebels’ storied football history in 2006, joining Archie Manning’s No. 18. This also marks the second year for the award pool to be expanded to include all upperclassmen.
Jones will be recognized Saturday when Ole Miss conducts the BancorpSouth Grove Bowl spring football game, set for 1 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/ Hollingsworth Field.
“This is a very prestigious award, and I thank the guys who went before me and paved the way for this opportunity,” said Jones in his acceptance speech, during which he thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his family, his teammates and coaches, along with several others. “Many people don’t get this opportunity, so it’s very important to me. To represent Chucky Mullins with the No. 38 is a privilege and an honor.”
A two-year letterman from Albany, Ga., Jones has played in 21 games with five starts over the last two seasons. Last year, he battled through an early-season injury to be a force on the defensive line late in the year. In 2010, he tied for fourth in the SEC in fumble recoveries and finished fourth on the team in sacks and fifth in tackles for loss.
Off the field, Jones is a psychology major and has made the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He has volunteered at the annual National Student-Athlete Day Community Service Project and the Special Olympics. He is a member of the Fellow of Christian Athletes leadership team and leads a Bible study group with his teammates. Jones also mentors local elementary school children and is an active member of the “Reading with the Rebels” program. He recently received the Hotty Toddy Award at the 2012 Rebels’ Choice Awards for his passionate spirit for Ole Miss Football.
Jones joins 21 former Ole Miss Rebels and one current teammate to receive the Chucky Mullins Courage Award. They include Chris Mitchell, Jeff Carter, Trea Southerland, Johnny Dixon, Alundis Brice, Michael Lowery, Derek Jones, Nate Wayne, Gary Thigpen, Ronnie Heard, Anthony Magee, Kevin Thomas, Lanier Goethie, Jamil Northcutt, Eric Oliver, Kelvin Robinson, Patrick Willis, Jeremy Garrett, Jamarca Sanford, Marcus Tillman, Kentrell Lockett and D.T. Shackelford.