Maurice Christopher Jones-Drew (born March 23, 1985) is a professional American football player who currently plays running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted in the second round (60th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. Drew graduated from De La Salle High School in Concord and played three years of college football at UCLA before declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft after his junior year.
Jones-Drew was born in Oakland, California, and graduated from De La Salle High School in Concord, California. De La Salle owns the longest winning streak in high school football history at 151 games. The football teams he played on never lost a single game during his 3-year career. He was an elusive, high-scoring running back and return specialist on offense and a punishing linebacker on defense. Jones-Drew somersaulted into the national consciousness on October 6, 2001, when, as a junior, he scored all four of De La Salle's touchdowns in a 29-15 nationally-televised victory over Long Beach Poly in the first game that ever matched up the nation's No. 1 and No. 2 ranked high school football teams. On the Spartans' opening drive, Jones-Drew received a short pass in the right flat on third-and-eight from the Poly 25-yard line. He broke a tackle and then sprinted down the right sideline before launching a spectacular forward somersault into the end zone. Drew next scored on a 29-yard reception on fourth down in which he ran a circle route out of the backfield down the left sideline and hauled in an over-the-shoulder touch pass at the goal line from quarterback Matt Gutierrez. Drew’s third touchdown came in the second quarter when he burst through the line, shook off two tacklers, before hitting paydirt 17 yards later. Drew’s final score salted away the historic De La Salle victory. It was a similar effort to his third touchdown and came on a 22-yard run with just under 7 minutes remaining. Drew finished with nine carries for 86 yards and three catches for another 79 yards. During his junior season, Jones-Drew rushed for nearly 2000 yards, averaged nearly 12 yards per carry, and scored 26 touchdowns. He was rated the No. 1 all-purpose back in the nation by rivals.com. He is pictured outrunning a slew of defenders on the cover of the book When the Game Stands Tall, which chronicles the De La Salle Spartans' all-time-record 151-game winning streak.
Jones-Drew attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he played for the UCLA Bruins football team under head coach Karl Dorrell. Despite being undersized, Jones-Drew led the Bruins in rushing all three years he was on the squad and showed good pass catching ability and big playmaking skills as both a punt and kickoff returner. He was the fifth player in Bruins history to lead the team in rushing in three seasons.
In 2005, Jones-Drew set an all-time NCAA single-season record with a 28.5 yards per return average on 15 punt returns, breaking the previous record of 25.9 yards per return held by Bill Blackstock of Tennessee in 1951. His career average of 23.2 yards per punt return ranks second in NCAA history. Jones-Drew also established a number of UCLA records, including the career all-purpose yardage record (4,688 yards). As a sophomore against Washington, Jones-Drew set UCLA's all-time record for yards rushing in a single game (322 yards) and also scored a school-record five touchdowns.
On his first carry of the game he burst to the outside and raced 47 yards to tie the game at 7–7. On his second carry, with UCLA trailing 24-7 and 2:30 remaining in the first quarter, he raced 62 yards for another TD. On his fourth carry, a third-and-12 with 40 seconds left in the first quarter, he sped 58 yards for his third TD. In the first quarter alone, he rushed for 169 yards and three touchdowns on four attempts. He gave the Bruins the lead for good (27–24) with 4:16 remaining in the first half when he scooted around right end for a 15-yard touchdown. In the third quarter, he broke numerous tackles en route to his school-record fifth touchdown, a 37-yard run on the Bruins' first possession of the half. His total of 322 yards rushing was the 3rd most in the history of the Pac-10 Conference, and his overall performance earned him several National Player of the Week awards.
His final year in college, his junior year, he was a consensus first-team All-American as an all-purpose back and a first-team All-Pac 10 selection as a punt returner, ahead of Heisman Trophy-winner (since vacated) Reggie Bush. He was also the first Bruin since Jackie Robinson to lead the country in punt returning. Additionally, Jones-Drew was named second-team All-Pac 10 as a running back. Jones-Drew gave a sign of things to come when, as a freshman, he rushed for 176 yards on only 18 carries against Arizona State, including an 83-yard scamper down the left sideline to the end zone which put UCLA ahead in the game for good in the third quarter. The run was the longest ever by a Bruin true freshman and ranked ninth (tied) overall on the school's list of long runs. His 176-yard day ranks No. 2 on UCLA's all-time list for true freshmen. Jones-Drew led the Bruins in rushing that season, becoming the first true freshman to lead the Bruins in rushing since DeShaun Foster in 1998. He was also named first-team All-Pac 10 as a kick returner by The Sporting News. In his collegiate career, Jones-Drew had 16 touchdowns of 40-plus yards. He was named to the Golden Gridiron Team by the WCBGU Athletic Group.
He hosts a two-hour radio show on Sirius XM satellite radio titled Runnin' With MJD which focuses on fantasy football talk and strategy.
Born to Sidney Gayles and Andrea Drew, Jones-Drew was raised by his grandparents, Maurice and Christina Jones. At the height of his college career, his grandfather died of a heart attack while watching his grandson play at the Rose Bowl against Rice University. Dorrell broke the news to Drew on the sideline during the game, and he ran to the locker room and left to go to the hospital. To honor the man who raised him, he added Jones to his surname, making him “Maurice Jones-Drew.”