CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 11: Marvin Jones #82 of the Cincinnati Bengals works out during a rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
" I’m a singer myself actually. I’ve actually been singing since I was 3 years old. I sang in the church as well."
If you want to see videos of Jones singing in church, go to YouTube and check it out. Jones, a fifth round pick in last April's draft from the University of California, will have the opportunity to grab the number two receiving spot this July. Our own Joe Goodberry considers Jones to be a lot like former Bengal Chad Johnson, as far as his playing style goes. While Jones can play football and sing, being a father is something that Jones considers as his greatest responsibility.
At the age of 18, Jones found out that he would have to enter extreme manhood at a young age. Jones was getting ready for his first season at Cal when he received a a phone call from his girlfriend of two years, Jazmyn. She was calling to let him know that she was pregnant. Jones' position coach noticed there was something wrong and head coach Jeff Tedford asked Jones into his office. Tedford told Jones to call his father to let him know about the pregnancy. Jones was nervous to tell him about what had happened. In an interview with Jack Wang from DailyCal.org, Jones expplained his father's response to the pregnancy:
"He said he’ll never be disappointed in me. He backs me up 100 percent. It switched from a type of sad tone to a happy tone."
Jones suffered an injury that season and ended up with only one catch for eight yards. Jones may have had something even more important on his mind. Marvin Jones III was born on January 12, 2009. The birth of his first son seemed to change the way that Jones lived his life, to a certain extent. Jones began to realize that he could not only be a role model for his son, but for many other children that see him play or come into contact with him. Cornerback Marc Anthony could see a change in Jones:
"He’s not much of a partier anymore. He has more responsibilities as a father. He’s stepped up to the plate, taken care of business."
Constantly being away from home forced Jones to miss some things that every parent wants to see:
"His first word was, ‘Dada,’ and I wasn’t able to catch any of that," Jones says. "When he walked, when he first walked, they sent me a video … It’s just the little things that you want to catch."
After his sophomore season, Jones' girlfriend moved up to live with him, so Jones would be able to see his son on a regular basis. He normally got home from class and practice at about five PM, when he finally got to play with his son.
Jones and his girlfriend had another baby together last Halloween. Jones' second son was named Mareon Lamont Jones, the same initials as his grandpa, father, and brother. Just over a day before the birth of his new son, Marvin and his Cal Bears lost to UCLA by 17 points. This was not about to ruin the birth of his second son:
"When he was born, everything just went away," Jones said.
Jones has realized that having his own family has given him the motivation that not even he knew was possible. Jones told Alexis Terrazas from the SFExaminer that his family has given him all the more reason to have a successful NFL career:
"I have extra mouths to feed. It definitely serves as another form of motivation, having them and having the responsibly of taking care of my family," Jones said. "But me as a person, I’m highly self motivated anyway. But having my family, it does wonders."
Jones will be challenged during training camp, as he will attempt to learn a new offense and steal playing time from other worthy candidates. The challenge that Jones faces this Summer is nothing like the challenge that he faced while becoming a father at the age of 18. If Jones can succeed at being a father, who is to say he won't rise up and become that extra weapon that Andy Dalton is lacking?