Marvin Jones plays, and lives, by a simple motto that goes something along the lines of “catch whatever is thrown your way.”
That’s precisely what Jones, Cal’s No. 2 wide receiver, did at last month’s Senior Bowl in scoring the game’s first touchdown. The Mobile, Ala.-hosted contest was one he wasn’t even supposed to be in. But Jones, a late roster addition, made the most of it.
And if the 6-foot-3, 200-pound receiver hopes to realize his dream of entering the NFL ranks, he’ll again need to make the most of his opportunity this week at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
“It’s one of the biggest interviews that I’ll ever do,” Jones said of the weeklong NFL scouting combine that starts Wednesday, pro football’s premier way of sizing up college competitors prior to draft day. “It’s for my livelihood. I have extra mouths to feed.”
In addition to footballs, Jones, who will turn 22 next month, has also handled life’s challenges when hurled his way.
He is a father of two young sons, Marvin III and Mareon, who are three and four months, respectively. And while he admits that the perception of a young parent is not a particularly good one, it’s his sons and girlfriend, Jazmyn, that keep him focused for his combine audition.
“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.”
Family is what Jones credits in keeping him grounded amid the rigors of balancing a four-year collegiate academic and athletic career. But his Berkeley stint began as anything but smooth.
Just days into his football camp, the freshman learned that his high school sweetheart was pregnant.
Noticeably disturbed, Jones was called into coach Jeff Tedford’s office.
“I broke down,” Jones said. “I just didn’t want my dad to be disappointed in me.”
His father, a pastor, wasn’t. Rather than exhibiting anger, his father supported him.
“I already knew the responsibilities of a father, because of how my father raised us,” Jones said.
With a weight taken off his shoulders, Jones focused on football his next four years. And football is what he’ll again focus on this week in Indy.
“I just wanna go out there and do everything to the best of my ability and have no regrets,” he said, who disagrees with the assertion that he’s a fourth round draft pick. “If I do that, I’ll let everything take care of itself. That’s my time to separate from my competition.”