FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas freshman quarterback Matt Jones officially became a two-sport athlete on Monday when he joined the Razorback basketball team.
There had been speculation since Jones signed to play football that the all-state basketball player would participate in both sports.
The Fort Smith native took the floor with the Hogs for the first time on Monday and will dress out for Tuesday’s 8 p.m. home game against No. 24 Mississippi State, which is being televised by ESPN.
“He’s a basketball player,” assistant head coach Mike Anderson said. “He’s gifted athletically, he can score and he has good quickness for his size.”
Jones, a 6-6, 215-pound forward, was nominated for McDonald’s All-America honors last year when he led Northside High School in scoring, rebounding and assists. As a junior at Van Buren High School, he led his club in scoring, rebounding and assists, and broke former UA All-American Corliss Williamson’s conference scoring average record by averaging 24.5 points per game.
Jones will wear No. 2. He may or may not play against the Bulldogs.
Two other football players, junior tight end Nathan Ball of Rogers and redshirt freshman tight end Jason Peters of Queen City, Texas, also worked out on Monday but will not remain with the team.
“You can dress out 15, so we had a spot for only one more player,” Anderson said. “We appreciate Nathan and Jason coming out. The timing was just bad for them because we had 14 players this year. In another year, if we had more spots open, they could have helped us.”
It was also announced on Monday that Arkansas’ game at LSU on Sunday, Jan. 13, will tip off at 12:30 p.m. The game was listed with either a 12:30 or 3:30 start but the NFL television playoff schedule has dictated a 12:30 tip. The game is being televised by Jefferson-Pilot Sports.