Jaylon Jones has been awarded the 2020 Chucky Mullins Courage Award by the Ole Miss football staff, Lane Kiffin announced in a special team meeting on Thursday.
The award honors Mullins, who was paralyzed after making a tackle in the Rebels’ 1989 Homecoming game against Vanderbilt and is presented annually to an upperclassman defensive player. The honor of wearing No. 38 is bestowed upon a leader who embodies Mullins’ courage, perseverance and determination.
Jones, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior defensive back, is poised for a breakout season after dealing with injury during his last two years. As a four-star recruit from Allen, Texas, he received first team freshman All-American honors in 2016 and ranked third in the SEC and 19th nationally with 775 kickoff return yards. He suffered a season-ending knee injury that forced him to redshirt in 2018, but Jones finished with 29 solo stops last season, despite missing the last two games of the year. He will look to tap into some of Mullins’ passion and drive to build on his success in 2020, while wearing the late Rebel’s number on his jersey.
Jones becomes the 30th recipient of the award and joins a special brotherhood alongside 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, D.T. Shackelford (who received the award twice!), Jason Jones, Mike Marry, Mike Hilton, John Youngblood, Marquis Haynes, C.J. Moore and Austrian Robinson.