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New-Kneed CB Jones Sparks Gophers

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Minnesota cornerback Marcus Jones has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson (pictured) after returning from a second major knee injury to excel early in the season. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.
Minnesota cornerback Marcus Jones has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson (pictured) after returning from a second major knee injury to excel early in the season. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

Gophers cornerback Marcus Jones has drawn some comparisons to a much more famous football player in Minneapolis: Adrian Peterson.

Both have rebounded from knee injuries and have looked better than ever. However, Jones does not want the comparison with the Vikings star. Understandably so considering Jones has come back from two knee injuries, both season-ending, in his college career.

"Honestly, I didn't think about any other people during rehab," Jones told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I just thought about wanting to play the game again. I love the game so much. After the first surgery, it was tough. After the second, I knew it would really be a test, trying to get back out there, because a lot of athletes don't make it through a second knee surgery.

"I just wanted to play again, with my team."

Jones has done more than that in these first two weeks of the Gophers' season.  He broke open the first half of the New Mexico State game on Saturday with a 65-yard punt return, which gave the Gophers a 27-7 lead. The Gophers still needed more steam in the second half as the Aggies fought back, but the maroon-and-gold walked away with a 44-21 victory.

The performance earned him Big Ten co-special teams player of the week honors Monday with Purdue kick returner Akeem Hunt. The Gophers cornerback made a similar splash in the home opener the week before at TCF Bank Stadium. He returned a punt 98 yards and helped run away from UNLV, 51-23.

Jones also had a 92-yard punt return during his freshman season against Purdue. Off the field, he's majoring in kinesiology.