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Beyond X's and O's with Marcus Jones, Houston DB

What is your biggest motivator?

  • “My biggest motivator is my parents because they sacrificed a lot for me to be able to be in the position that I’m in. My other biggest motivator is my son that is on the way. He will be here January 15th so hopefully he will be able to come down to the Senior Bowl for a little bit – we’ll have to see.”

What is your day-to-day routine?

  • “First, I usually just make sure all my schoolwork is done – that is the main thing I do. Then, treatment and recovery to make sure that my body is okay and that I am eating all the right food at the right time. Whenever we have practice, I focus on certain things during the day such as having the right eyes or placing my hands on the right spot on the receiver – just small little things like that. After that I usually eat again and make sure that I get the proper rest later that night.”

Who is your role model?

  • “My role model is my dad because he showed me the ins and outs of being a man and the things that you have to sacrifice and understand. He showed me how to treat people even though people might treat you in a negative way.”

What is your favorite college football memory?

  • “I’d have to say the pick that I just got against Memphis because it was one of those situations that I caught it but wasn’t paying attention to how it actually happened, then all my teammates on the sideline were like ‘Bro, do you know what you just did?’ It was one of those situations that just happened so fast and just being in the moment I didn’t really know what happened until I came back to the sideline and saw it. Oh, and the kickoff return I had against SMU, that would have to be the most memorable.”

What are you most looking forward to the rest of the season?

  • “Mostly just looking forward to winning the conference championship – that’s the main thing. I’m also just looking forward to spending time with my teammates because after the season, this will be the last time I see some of my teammates so I just want to do all of things that I haven’t done with them yet.”

You had early success at Troy, can you talk to me about your decision to transfer to Houston?

  • “Basically, a new coaching staff came in and I just came to the conclusion that I wanted to move to a bigger conference at the moment. I was having success and everything and I just wanted to challenge myself as an individual and as a player on the field. So I ended up moving up a conference to compete with other people with better skillsets, more knowledge and that are more recognizable.”

Who is a WR in the NFL you want to go up against?

  • “I’d like to go up against Odell Beckham Jr., Jerry Jeudy, and Calvin Ridley. There are a whole bunch of receivers that I would like to go up against, but definitely those three.”

Who is the best player you have ever played with?

  • “I would have to say Brandon Silvers when I was at Troy. He had years underneath his belt and just his composure of him playing ball. There was never a time where the moment was too big. As a freshman, just seeing how he handled playing in the Sun Belt Championship when there was only a certain amount of time left in the game. He didn’t let the moment get too big and he was poised and not worried at all.”

Is there an NFL player that you try to model your game after?

  • “Cornerback wise I’d say Darius Slay. He knows how to play certain coverages and everything like that and is definitely a ball hawk. He is not too big either, you know these days most corners are taller and I’m not 6-foot so he is someone I look up to. Then Adoree’ Jackson. He actually played both sides of the ball when he was in college and sometimes plays offense in the NFL, not a whole lot, but just seeing him do the things that I would like to do. He kind of helped me and motivated me to where I can be successful playing both sides of the ball.”

What do you look for when watching tape on the opposing team?

  • “I would say tendencies especially at cornerback. I like to see certain releases that receivers like to do. I look at scheme, too, like what type of routes they have in their route trees and just knowing the route concepts. That helps a lot being at corner because if you see certain things while you’re in zone, you have to know what routes are coming. Those two things help with anticipation too.”

What is your mindset being able to play on both sides of the ball and special teams?

  • “My main mindset is that I know there are going to be challenges with playing a bunch of different positions, but I accept those challenges. That’s the main thing – things aren’t always going to go your way. You’re in situations where you basically have to break it down, I mean you don’t have to know every coverage but all 11 players on the field have to know what each person has to do. You have to break it down in different ways to make it easier. You just also have to keep your head down because when you play cornerback, you’re going to get cut on or things of that nature, but you have to stay consistent and not complacent if you make a big play. You just have to keep doing what you’re doing.”

What separates you from those around you?

  • “The separation for me is that however you need me to play, I can do it. As you know, I play multiple positions so however I can help the team, just in general, I’m going to do it. Whether its nickel, corner, safety, receiver, running back, whatever you need, I am going to be able to do it. However you need it, I am going to put 110% not just on the field but off the field, as well, whether its watching film or anything else I need to do.”

Is there an area in your game you want prove the rest of this season?

  • “One thing is that I can play against bigger opponents and bigger receivers because something that most people say I lack is my height, and I can’t control that. That is one thing that I am going to try to prove because as a quarterback, if you see height difference that is something you are going to try to pick on.”

Tell me about how much it means to you to accept an invite to the Senior Bowl and being able to come back to your home state and showcase your talent to NFL personnel from all 32 teams?

  • “It means a lot because when I was in high school, I heard a lot about this game and the values and benefits from it. I am just happy to be able to come back home and have some of my friends and family come to the game and watch it. I just want to come down and showcase the things that I am able to do and prove the people wrong that think I can’t play at the highest level.”

If you could bring one teammate to the NFL with you, who would it be?

  • “I would say Damarion Williams. We are a lot alike, undersized and everything like that but we have the same mindset of loving to prove people wrong. He is definitely one guy I would like to bring with me because I know we would bounce off one another. If he makes a play, I know my times going to come. We love to compete against each other, and we have the same drive.”

You’re stuck on a deserted island with three teammates – who are they?

  • “I’m going to bring DJ Small, Chandler Smith, and Shane Creamer. I feel like we would be a great team. We would understand the things that we would need to do for a living situation and food supplies. We all would be able to think and understand before we reacted on something. That’s the main thing, I know we would be good team wise, but also collaborate and see each other's views on why we do certain things. I know that if we are stuck together for a long period of time, we would be okay.”