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Can Tyren Jones rebuild his image and career with the South Carolina Gamecocks?

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The JUCO transfer is a risk, but South Carolina hopes they are rewarded in the end.

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The "last straw" for Tyren Jones at Alabama came on March 30, 2015, at around 11:30 in the morning.

That's when Tuscaloosa police pulled over a speeding Dodge Challenger belonging to Brandon Hansberry. After smelling marijuana in the vehicle, they eventually found a small amount of it in Jones's pocket. That spelled the end of his career with the Crimson Tide . Having already been suspended for a rules violation, he was then kicked off the team.

In an attempt to rehab his image and rebuild his profile in search of a FBS roster to latch on to, he joined Hutchinson Community College, where he recorded 701 yards and five touchdowns on 105 carries while splitting time with former Tennessee castaway Treyvon Paulk. After that, it was a waiting game. Not a lot of teams wanted to take a chance on a player who a) had already been suspended from a football program and b) burned any goodwill he may have already had by being arrested for possessing an illegal substance. But after being offered by only two programs - Louisville and South Carolina - he has found himself back in the SEC with the Gamecocks.

His disciplinary problems aside, Jones is a good football player. He was ranked as the 11th best RB in the class of 2013 by Rivals.com and 79th overall, regardless of position. (Hindsight, of course, is 20/20, but the guy one spot below him on the list, Ezekiel Elliott, turned out OK. All the #30 guy, Wayne Gallman, did was run for over 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns this season.) But it's that chip-on-the-shoulder type of athlete that I doubt Steve Spurrier would have given a second glance, but that Will Muschamp and company are willing to give another chance because they think that he'll turn out to be a good player.

Jones will have three years to play two seasons at South Carolina. Right now, it's not too hard to imagine him as the featured running back on day one. David Williams - who, by the way, was ranked by Rivals as the #21 running back on that aforementioned list - hasn't lived up to the billing. But Jones will certainly push Williams in practice. And if Williams wants to be the #1 back, he'll respond to the impending challenge.

Is Tyren Jones a changed man? Time will tell. The Gamecocks certainly hope so. And, for his own sake, I certainly hope so.