Jones makes NFL debut, Lowe on college football watch list

Former East lineman Robert Jones saw his first NFL action this past weekend, playing for the Miami Dolphins in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears.

Although Jones was signed as an undrafted free agent after two seasons at Middle Tennessee State, he played with the second-team offensive line and indications are that he’s a good bet to make the team.

In Saturday’s game, Pro Football Focus gave Jones low marks on his run blocking, while Sports Illustrated listed his play as a second half highlight.

While Jones is living out his NFL dream this year, Auburn grad Vederian Lowe took advantage of an NCAA ruling that last season didn’t count against his eligibility and returned to the University of Illinois for a fifth season. 

He hopes to use this year to improve his NFL prospects and big things are expected. He was one of two Illini named to the Outland Trophy watch list, which goes to college football’s best offensive lineman.

Lowe has had quite a career at Illinois. He’s started 40 games already, including the last 34 in a row. He’s juggled football and classes with getting married and raising two sons, Kingston and Trey, and he also became the guardian of his 14-year-old brother, Vydalis Cockrell.

His story resonated across the Big Ten. He was chosen from among all student-athletes across the conference to speak on their behalf as part of the Big Ten Football Kickoff Show that aired on August 9.

Illinois kicks off its season August 28 when the Illini host Nebraska.

Posted on 08.16.21