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Stanford-bound Austin Jones ’19 Becomes O’Dowd’s All-Time Leading Rusher

On his very first carry as an O’Dowd running back, Austin Jones ’19 broke loose for a 68-yard touchdown. It was the start of a prolific high school career for the four-year varsity football player.

Jones rewrote the O’Dowd record book during the 2018 football season, moving into the top spot in total rushing yards, carries and touchdowns, as well as total points scored – 558 points on 93 touchdowns.

Jones finished his high school career with 6,902 yards on 940 carries (averaging 7.34 yards per carry) with 86 touchdowns, edging out Louis Arnold ’06 who tallied 5,675 yards on 781 carries (7.27 yards per carry) with 67 touchdowns during the three years he played varsity football. In addition, Jones now ranks third all-time in total receptions (77) and total receiving yards (1,048).

And, Jones established himself as one of the top running backs in Bay Area history. According to O’Dowd varsity head football coach Napoleon Kaufman, Jones is the Bay Area’s second all-time career rusher, behind former Antioch High standout Najee Harris (who now plays for the Alabama Crimson Tide) who tallied 7,948 yards.

“It means a lot to me because it’s due to a lot of hard work and dedication both on and off the field,” Jones said of his top spot in the O’Dowd record book.

Kaufman said the accomplishment speaks to Jones’ consistency and durability. “Austin played varsity football for four years and he never missed a game. And his senior season was his best – he rushed for over 2,000 yards,” he said.

Jones has been an exemplary team leader, Kaufman said. “From the very beginning, Austin has led by example. He was always the guy who went out every day and worked hard,” he said. “I’ve just been amazed at his humility.”

For Jones, the individual accomplishments take a back seat to team achievements. When asked about his favorite O’Dowd football memory, he said “Winning the state championship.”

The Stanford-bound Jones was part of two sectional championship teams (2016 and 2018) and the 2016 state championship team.

Jones has been equally successful in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 grade point average while taking Honors and Advanced Placement courses. “I’ve never seen anybody who’s done what he has done in terms of excellence on the football field and in the classroom,” Kaufman said. “It’s a tribute to his parents who have done a great job supporting him, but he is also really self-motivated.”

Honors Chemistry teacher Jan Coonrod said Jones is a very accomplished student, whose curiosity and work ethic help to drive his success in the classroom. “And he is held in such high regard by all the adults who encounter him because he embodies great character, integrity, respectfulness, and kindness. He is one amazing young man,” she said.


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