On Campus: Brandon Jones
by Elizabeth Klipp | Photography by Meg Buscema
Brandon Jones, No. 20, is a 20-year-old psychology major and free safety on the GSU defense.
What has it been like to be one of the first members of the Panther football team?
Over the last year and a half, I’ve seen a lot of progress. We have good guidance through our coaches and a lot of the guys are getting stronger and faster. We’re coming together as a unit and getting prepared for Shorter on Sept. 2.
You transferred from Mars Hill College in North Carolina in 2009. Why did you pick GSU?
I felt like I had a better opportunity here to reach my goals. I hope to play in the NFL, and with the coaches here, I feel like I have a better chance of making it. Also, Georgia State has better academic programs. If the NFL doesn’t work out, I’d like to go to graduate school for physical therapy.
As a free safety, what is your role on the team?
I’m essentially the quarterback of the defense. I oversee everything that’s going on on the defensive side, like making sure everyone is in the correct spots and calling out the plays correctly that we get from the coaches on the sideline.
What’s the style of the defense?
Fast, tenacious and very sly. I want this defense to be recognized nationally.
How do you balance academics with your practice and training schedule?
Our practices are from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., and we have class until about 6 p.m. Then we have study hall hours we have to log throughout the week. Our coaches see every grade in the book. They make sure our grades stay up.
How did you get your special role of team barber?
During the fall 2009 camp, a lot of the guys were asking me, “Who cut your hair?” I said, “I did,” and they said it looked really good. After that, a lot of the guys started coming to me and so far, I’ve probably cut at least 30 to 45 players on the team.
How do you get pumped up for the game?
I listen to my iPod. We also have a team chant that we do before our meeting with the other team. I would like to thank our Samoan brothers and linebackers, Jake and Louie Muasau, who taught us the chant. In Samoan, we say “This is our house!”