Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Jones acts as role model on and off field

Just a few weeks after Alabama won the BCS National Championship and a day after the Crimson Tide opened spring practice, sophomore offensive lineman Barrett Jones left for Haiti.

“It’s something that has impacted my life tremendously,” Jones said. “I’ve always thought it was extremely important to use the football platform that God’s given me to do things other than football and to use that opportunity to go places and talk to kids, like in Haiti, for example. It is great to change kids’ lives.”

While most college students were lounging on the beach during Spring Break, Jones was riding in the back of a pickup truck for seven hours to visit the spot where a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island.

“Barrett Jones is one of the finest people I’ve ever had the opportunity to be around in terms of his willingness to help others, his involvement in the community, and going to a foreign country to help with difficult circumstances,” head coach Nick Saban said. “He’s very giving. I use the term, do you want to be blessed or do you want to be a blessing? I think Jones is a blessing in a lot of ways. He’s an outstanding football player, smart and helps the other players play better with his leadership.”

Jones was one of two returning starters on Alabama’s offensive line this season. And while Jones has been a major asset to the Tide in his two years starting, it’s his involvement with community service and commitment to helping others that his teammates like to talk about.

“Barrett is a great person,” said junior defensive lineman Marcell Dareus. “I told him I was Haitian. I told him it was real nice to go there since I have brothers and sisters over there. It shows his character and who he really is as a person. He’s deeper than just his performance as an offensive lineman. He’s a real good person all the way around.”

Not only does Jones help a country in need, but he also makes sure to do his part right here in Tuscaloosa, on and off the field.

“Barrett’s always been someone I look up to off the field,” said senior tight end Preston Dial. “The things he does in his off time are never selfish, whether it be Haiti or speaking at the Huddle.

“But, on the field he’s helped guys like [Chance] Warmack and [D.J.] Fluker. When things are getting crazy, it’s tough for you to help someone else. Barrett always makes sure he goes out of his way to make sure D.J. [Fluker] and Chance [Warmack] are where they need to be. It’s helped them mature a lot faster than if Barrett hadn’t have been here.”

During his time on the team, Jones has developed from a leader on the offensive line into a role model for the entire team.

“I call him Big Teddy Bear,” said sophomore linebacker Nico Johnson. “Some of the younger guys like me, we look up to him. He leads our team in the right direction.”

With a football schedule that includes traveling many weekends in the fall, constantly watching film, going to practice, lifting weights and going to the football team’s study halls, there isn’t too much free time for the players.

“Just the fact that he puts as much time in the film room and at practice as he does going out into the community,” said junior Mark Ingram. “You show a lot of appreciation for that because time is very limited. Just that he could manage all that and spend all that time equally is impressive.”

Last season, Jones earned first-team Freshman All-American and freshman All-SEC honors. He was also recognized as a second-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in 2009.

Besides being an SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll selection and winning the Jerry Duncan “I Like to Practice” Award from spring practice, he’s also received the Derrick Thomas Community Service Award for his work in Haiti.

“Obviously he’s a good football player,” said junior offensive lineman William Vlachos. “Everyone knows that. But the stuff he does off the field is very special. I look up to him for the type of person he is and the way he carries himself. It’s a privilege to play next to him.”

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