USC kickoff returner Velus Jones will finish collegiate career at Tennessee

Velus Jones returns a kickoff against Fresno State at the Coliseum on Aug. 31, 2019.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The first USC football player in the NCAA transfer portal this offseason has found a new home, while another player has decided to look for one.

Velus Jones, who served as the Trojans’ primary kickoff returner in 2019, will finish his collegiate career as a graduate transfer at Tennessee, the wideout announced on Twitter.


Jones briefly considered a transfer to Tennessee last spring, before opting to return to USC for his junior season. But that return didn’t go as expected, as Jones was mostly forgotten in a deep receiver rotation and finished with only six catches for 35 yards. He did return a kickoff for a touchdown that helped secure a win in USC’s opener against Fresno State.

At Tennessee, he’ll reunite with Tee Martin, the former USC offensive coordinator who coaches receivers in Knoxville.

“I want to thank the University of Southern California and Clay Helton for allowing me to get my degree and also for the life changing experiences and connections I will have for life,” Jones said on Twitter.

Offensive lineman Clayton Bradley also entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal this week.

Bradley spent five years dealing with injuries that mostly kept him off the field. The former Servite High linemen started three games as a sophomore in 2017 and played in three more as a junior before a back injury sidelined him.

While five of the ten recruits making in-game commitments during the All-American Bowl had USC caps on the table, only receiver Gary Bryant Jr. selected the Trojans.

Jan. 4, 2020

Bradley didn’t take a single snap in his fifth season at USC. He was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA.


USC can use all the depth it can get along the offensive line, where it must replace at least one starting tackle. If left tackle Austin Jackson or left guard Alijah Vera-Tucker opts to declare early for the NFL draft, the Trojans could find themselves in dire straits up front.

To combat looming depth issues along the line, USC signed six offensive linemen during the early signing period.