ATLANTA, Ga. – East Carolina senior wide receiver Zay Jones has been named to the Walter Camp All-America Team (first-team) according to an announcement Thursday night at The Home Depot College Football Awards. Jones becomes the fifth Pirate in school history to earn Walter Camp All-America honors following Terry Long (OL/1983), Robert Jones (LB/1991), Carlester Crumpler (TE/1993) and Andrew Bayes (P/1999) – all of which were first-team selections.
Alongside his father Robert, the Jones’ are second father-son combo to earn Walter Camp All-America honors joining Georgia’s Kevin Butler (PK/1985) and Drew Butler (P/2009). This is the fourth first-team All-America honor that Jones has earned this season (others: College Sports Madness, Pro Football Focus and The Sporting News).
A two-year team captain, Jones wrapped up his four-year career as the NCAA FBS career (399) and single-season (158) receptions leader, while setting new ECU and American Athletic Conference single-season standards in catches and receiving yards (1,746).
This season, Jones led the NCAA FBS in four categories: receptions, receiving yards, receptions per game (13.20) and receiving yards per game (145.5). In 12 games he caught a personal-best eight touchdown passes and registered nine double-triples (catches-yards), which included a career-high 22 receptions for 190 yards at South Carolina on Sept. 17. His 22 grabs against the Gamecocks are the most by an NCAA FBS receiver in a game this season and was one shy of an all-time NCAA FBS record. Jones also had a FBS-leading 89 receptions that resulted in a first down, the most in a single-season in the FBS since 2004.
The Austin, Texas native was a finalist for the 2016 Biletnikoff Award (outstanding receiver in college football), William V. Campbell Trophy (best football scholar-athlete presented by Fidelity Investments, National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame) and the Senior CLASS Award (honoring the attributes of senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition).
A First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection, Jones was formally recognized as a Heisman Trophy candidate by the Heisman Trophy Trust on Nov. 7, while being selected as a semifinalist for the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award on Nov. 21. He has committed to play in the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl, which will be played on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.