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Taiwan Jones Path To The NFL Included A Battle With Dyslexia

I'd always wondered how a player of Taiwan Jones' caliber ended up at Eastern Washington University. After all, Eastern isn't seen as a destination, but more of a fall-back school for football and basketball players alike. It's not often you see a running back with the supreme ability Jones possesses running amok through FCS secondaries. There had to be a back-story.

It turns out, Jones was unable to qualify for some of the bigger, more traditional powers out of high school. But the reason had nothing to do with his effort or ability; he found out he had dyslexia during his senior year of high school. It was too late for him to suddenly makeup the scores he needed to qualify for a big-time, FBS school, so he headed to Easter.

"It always made me feel smaller," Jones told Steve Corkran of the Oakland Tribune. "I was struggling, while people were telling me, ‘You should get this. What’s the problem?’ Now things are easier because I know that I can learn; I just need more help."

Jones turned into quite the running back, amassing 2,995 yards and two touchdowns over two seasons for the Eagles. Though an injury kept him out of the FCS Championship, Jones played a key role in Eastern Washington's title, and opted to forgo the rest of his college eligibility to enter the NFL Draft. The Oakland Raiders selected him in the fourth round, and Jones will be in camp whenever the NFL lockout ends.

Questions about his durability led Jones to slip, but he impressed scouts with his explosiveness and ability to run in the open field. If he stays healthy, watch out; Jones could make an impact right away this coming season. Either way, his story is an interesting one, and makes him easy to root for.