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April 10, 2013C.J. Jones has big goals for his future UCF career.
The Port Orange (Fla.) Atlantic prospect, who recently became the first Class of 2014 commitment, aims to create a legacy as the best running back to ever play for the Knights.
"I want to beat Kevin Smith's rushing records," Jones said. "That's a big goal. I just want to go down there and do great things. Reach my potential by working hard. I'll put in the work to be where I want to be."
In just three seasons, Smith (2005-07) became UCF's No. 1 all-time leading rusher with 4,679 yards. During his junior and final season in 2007 before leaving for the NFL, Smith rushed for 2,567 yards, which was the second-highest total in NCAA FBS history.
UCF coaches told Jones' high school coach, Tim Smith, that he reminds them of Kevin Smith.
"That made me feel really good," Jones said. "That makes me want to push harder because I want to be better than any other player they've had at UCF. It's just motivation to play and work harder."
Jones was initially offered by UCF during a February unofficial visit. As the weeks went by, he decided it was in his best interest to take them up on it.
"My dad and I sat down to talk about it," Jones said. "We broke down some things and we decided I should go there. It felt like home to me. I felt very comfortable. The coaches were very cool. Academic wise, it's everything I wanted in a college."
The decision was relayed first to his head coach, who got in contact with the coaches at UCF. He later spoke on the phone with head coach George O'Leary.
"They were all real excited," Jones said. "We were just talking, laughing, just joking around."
Jones is hoping to attend Saturday's spring game, but his main priority is taking the ACT earlier that morning. Regardless, he plans to come back for unofficial visits whenever he can.
"I really liked how close everything is," Jones said. "The footbal team just seems like a big family. When I went there the first time, everyone was all smiles. Everything was just perfect."
He's bound to get more attention when the spring evaluation period gets started later this month, but the only thing he's thinking about is a future with UCF.
"I'm keeping an open mind, but I do have a school in mind that I really want to go to and that's UCF," Jones said. "I really do like everything there. It's close to home. My dad can come to the practices and games with no problem. Everything is just perfect."
Jones (5-10, 196) rushed for 1,039 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior at Atlantic. He said he was familiar with UCF redshirt freshman wide receiver Taylor Oldham, who played at nearby Daytona Beach (Fla.) Warner Christian, and would probably catch up with him soon. His favorite football player is Reggie Bush.
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