Ole Miss senior defensive back Jaylon Jones was announced on Thursday as the 2020 Chucky Mullins Courage Award winner and will soon become the latest player to wear No. 38, Mullins’ former number, on his jersey.
Jones becomes the 30th recipient in the 31-year history of the award.
The Chucky Mullins Courage Award is sponsored by the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. The award honors the late Chucky Mullins, whose Ole Miss career came to an abrupt end during the 1989 football season when he was injured after making a tackle, paralyzing him from the neck down. After returning to his studies at Ole Miss, Mullins passed away on May 6, 1991.
“Chucky (Mullins) means a lot to this program,” Jones said. “You can’t step on this campus without knowing who Chucky Mullins is. It’s an exciting honor because of how serious this award is and the legacy that Chucky left. Getting it back in a DB’s hands is just an honor.”
Head Coach Lane Kiffin and his coaching staff selected the Allen, Texas native from among several veteran defensive players.
“We had a lot of kids who could represent it, but Jaylon just stood out by the way he works, plus the adversity before we got here that he had been through with injuries,” Kiffin said.
During Jones’ tenure with the red and blue, he has been a four-year letter winner and has appeared in 35 career games during his time at Ole Miss, including 14 starts in the secondary. Jones, who earned first-team Freshman All-America honors in 2016, has tallied 100 total tackles and 14 pass breakups during his career. He has also been a dangerous weapon on special teams, averaging over 26 yards per return on 34 attempts, including two touchdowns.
Jones joins Chris Mitchell, Jeff Carter, Trea Southerland, Johnny Dixon, Alundis Brice, Michael Lowery, Derek Jones, Nate Wayne, Gary Thigpen, Ronnie Heard, Anthony Magee, Kevin Thomas, Lanier Goethie, Jamil Northcutt, Eric Oliver, Kelvin Robinson, Patrick Willis, Jeremy Garrett, Jamarca Sanford, Marcus Tillman, Kentrell Lockett, Deterrian Shackelford (twice), Jason Jones, Mike Marry, Mike Hilton, John Youngblood, Marquis Haynes, CJ Moore and Austrian Robinson who have all received the honor.