Amid the near 3,000 graduates, one former student-athlete stood out among the rest. UTEP football all-time rushing leader and Green Bay running back Aaron Jones returned to El Paso to fulfill his promise to his parents and graduate from UTEP. 

Jones, who decided to forgo his senior season at UTEP to be drafted in 2017, graduated with a bachelor's degree in multidisciplinary studies.

"I've been working for this and for today to finally come, it's a blessing," said Jones following his graduation commencement."It's definitely special. I had family fly in, so it was special... It's amazing, this is home for me and I love being back."

Some of his former teammates will be graduating alongside Jones, including lineman Jerrod Brooks, lineman Derron Gatewood, defensive lineman Luke Elsner, wideout Terry Juniel, receiver Dylan Kittrell, linebacker Dante Lovilotte, quarterback Ryan Metz, linebacker Lawrence Montegut, Elijah Perales, receiver Warren Redix, defensive lineman Michael Sota and tight end Josh Weeks.

There were 40 student athletes graduating from UTEP, including the 13 football players.

Jones became the program's leading rusher with 4,114 career rushing yards for the Miners. He ranks seventh on the C-USA all-time rushing list and broke John Harvey's 28-year old single-season rushing record by rushing for 1,773 yards as a senior. His storied college career was enough to earn him an Associated Press All-American third team honor and All-C-USA first team honors.

During his rookie season with the Packers Jones rushed for 448 yards and scored four touchdowns, all while dealing with a season that sidelined him during the last part of the season. He's currently listed as the No. 2 back behind Jamaal Williams, but is expected to take some significant carries this upcoming season.


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