Jan. 28, 2012
MOBILE, Ala. - Former Cal wide receiver Marvin Jones caught an eight-yard touchdown pass to help lead the North to a 23-13 victory over the South in the 63rd annual Senior Bowl played Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Jones saw his action off the bench while his former Golden Bear teammate Mitchell Schwartz started for the North at right tackle. The game presented by Merrill Lynch Wealth Management was televised live by the NFL Network and played in front of a sold-out crowd of 40,646.
Jones, who was a late invitation to the contest, hauled in the scoring pass from former Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson on the first play of the second quarter to cap a five-play, 46-yard touchdown drive that gave the North a 10-3 advantage it would never relinquish. Jones was one of 11 North players with at least one of the team's 15 receptions, with none making more than two.
The catch and his play in Saturday's contest culminated a strong week for Jones in which he was identified as one of the top wide receivers at the event during practices leading up to Saturday's game.
"He probably runs the best routes of anyone on the North team, consistently separates from defensive backs and has made several outstanding receptions," Tony Pauline wrote in a story for SI.com after observing Jones in a practice early in the week.
"Playing in the Senior Bowl was fun," Jones said. "We were all well prepared, and on the field we just had a good time. Playing against other top talent is something that I love to do, and I definitely got to do that today. Overall, it was a great experience. Throughout the week, I wanted to showcase my abilities, and I feel like I definitely did. I was just blessed to get the opportunity and am thankful to everybody that was a part of the process."
Jones and Scwhartz became the 31st and 32nd Cal players to play in the contest (see complete list below) that is college football's premier senior showcase event, annually featuring the nation's best senior collegiate football stars and top NFL draft prospects on teams coached by NFL coaching staffs. Senior Bowl practices and game week festivities are attended by more than 800 general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, scouts and other front office personnel from all 32 National Football League teams, making Mobile and the Senior Bowl the week-long host to a one-of-a-kind NFL Coaches Convention.
Jones was one of the most prolific receivers in Cal history, playing in 43 games during his four seasons in Berkeley (2008-11) and making 38 starts, all of the team's games over his final three campaigns. He finished his career among Cal's all-time leaders in receiving yards (2,260, 6th), 100-yard receiving games (6, T6th), receptions (156, T7th) and receiving touchdowns (13, T8th). He also ranks tied for seventh on Cal's single-game receptions list with the 12 he recorded as a junior at Nevada. Jones led Cal in both receptions and receiving yards in 2009 and '10, as well as in touchdown receptions as a 2009 sophomore. He also finished his career with 11 rushes for 116 yards (10.5 ypr), 14 punt returns for 102 yards, 86 points, 2,488 all-purpose yards (116 rush, 2,270 receiving, 102 punt return) and four tackles.
In his final collegiate season in 2011, Jones recorded career highs in receptions (62) and receiving yards (846), both second on the club behind Keenan Allen. He started all 13 games and made at least one catch in each contest to extend his streak to the final 38 games of his career. Jones earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors and also picked up a spot on the ESPN.com Pac-12 Blog's all-underrated team as a senior. He added three touchdown catches to rank tied for second on the team, an average of 13.6 yards per catch that was the second-highest among the team's regular receivers and 866 all-purpose yards (22 rush, 758 receiving, 86 punt return) to rank third on the club. His final per-game averages registered ninth in the Pac-12 in receiving yards (65.08, 73rd NCAA) and 13th in receptions (4.77, T80th NCAA). Jones registered a season-high eight catches for 88 yards in the Holiday Bowl vs. Texas and caught seven passes for a season-high 123 yards and a touchdown against Presbyterian, including a season long catch of 51 yards. He had the first of his two 100-yard receiving games in the season opener vs. Fresno State, making five receptions for 118 yards and a career-high-tying two touchdowns while earning honorable mention Wide Receiver Performer of the Week honors from the College Football Performance Awards.
Schwartz earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior after starting all 13 games at left tackle, marking the fourth consecutive season he started every one of the team's contests. Schwartz finished with 51 career starts, one shy of the school record. As a senior, he anchored an offensive line that blocked for first-year starting tailback Isi Sofele, who posted the sixth-highest rushing single-season rushing total in school history with 1,322 yards, giving Cal a 1,000-yard rusher for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. Schwartz was also a first-team Pac-12 All-Academic choice as a senior.
Jones (African American Studies) and Schwartz (American Studies) both earned their bachelor degree from Cal and completed their collegiate football eligibility in December of 2011.
Cal football will return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012, opening its season at home against Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 1. The Bears' seven-game home slate will also feature Pac-12 contests against Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference tilt against Southern Utah. The Bears have road trips to Ohio State, Oregon State, USC, Utah and Washington State.
For more information on the stadium and season-ticket options for 2012, visit CaliforniaMemorialStadium.com.
ALL-TIME CALIFORNIA PLAYERS IN SENIOR BOWL (32)