Aaron Rodgers has led the Green Bay Packers for the better part of a decade. However, there is a new Aaron in Green Bay that is lighting up defenses. His name is Aaron Jones. The Aaron Duo has given the Packers a balanced offensive attack. Jones runs the ball, and Rodgers throws the passes.
Aaron Jones’ recent NFL stardom is from years of hard work when nobody saw his true talent. He never complained about his circumstances. He put his head down and continued to work. One member of his family played an integral role in helping Jones get to where he is today.
Jones’ life as a military kid
Before he was making defenders miss in NFL, Jones was the son of Vurgess and Alvin Sr. Both of Jones’ parents were active in the military, which meant his family had to move multiple times throughout his childhood. Jones once lived in Germany and spoke fluent German.
When Jones was in elementary school, he was exposed to the glamour that comes with being a highly sought after recruit. He lived in Virginia Beach at the time, which allowed him to see future NFL players like Percy Harvin and Tyrod Taylor in action. The attention of the recruits is what caught Jones’ attention. He desired to have that many recruits fawning over him when he gets to that point in his life.
At 12-years old, Jones and his family moved again. This time it was to El Paso, Texas. Jones saw the drastic difference between recruiting in El Paso and the bigger cities in Texas. “In El Paso, at the time, there were athletes, but they just weren’t getting recruited. Ten hours away in Dallas, 12 hours away in Houston or East Texas, you could see hundreds of athletes, instead of going to El Paso and seeing maybe four or five kids. The recruiters never really came out here,” said Jones per ESPN.
Being in a lightly recruited area like El Paso, Jones knew that he would have to do more in terms of recruiting. He was going to not only play well but get his tape out there and market his abilities. That is when his father stepped up and made a career-ending sacrifice.
Aaron Jones’ father helps him get recruited
Due to the nature of his job, Alvin Sr. couldn’t get to see many of Jones’ game when he was young. Alvin Sr. was at 29 years of service in the military. Despite him being a year away from the coveted 30-year mark, he decided to retire. He wanted to help both of his sons achieve their football dreams. “All of their lives, we asked them to sacrifice. This was the time to be about them,” he said.
From that point on, Jones’ father became his recruiting agent. He didn’t miss one of his or his brother’s games during their senior year of high school. Alvin Sr. took his support to the next level, starting a marketing company to provide his boys more exposure to college recruits, per ESPN. His sacrifice and commitment to helping his sons resulted in both of them getting attention from notable division one programs.
Aaron Jones did his part also. He exploded for 335 rushing yards in a playoff game, getting him even more attention. Because of his father’s recruiting efforts and his on-field performance, Jones received three scholarship offers. UTEP, New Mexico State, and UTSA. Jones went to UTEP because of the shorts distance it was from his parents and the fact that his brother decided to go there also.
“My dad never met his dad. But you would never know that because of the things he’s done with me and my brother. He’s shown me how to be a man and eventually how to be a father,” said Jones.
The Emergence of Aaron Jones
Aaron Jones became a standout running back at UTEP. He rushed for over 4,000 yards during his time there, also showing his pass-catching ability. He declared for the NFL Draft in 2017, and 18 other running backs were selected before him. Green Bay selected Jones with pick No. 182.
Jones saw some playtime but wasn’t getting the touches he gets nowadays. He showed flashes of what he could do, rushing for 138 yards and two scores against the New Orleans Saints his rookie year. That brought about the once viral “Free Aaron Jones” memes. Jones got his chance to shine in 2019 and had a breakout season.
Jones rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 19 total touchdowns in 2019. He was one shy of the Packers’ single-season franchise record. Packers coach Matt LaFleur has realized the dual-threat ability of Jones. He is now a mainstay in Green Bay’s offense. He had another 1,000 yards and 10+ touchdown season in 2020.
Aaron Jones has become one of the most complete backs in the NFL. Jones has come a long way from moving across the world as a military kid to becoming a nationally known name. He wouldn’t be in the spot he is today without his father’s love and promotion of his talents back in high school.