Christmas is a time of giving, and professional athletes often want to give big gifts to their loved ones when they reach the big time and start making the big bucks. Even as a rookie, Minnesota Vikings WR Justin Jefferson was in that situation this past Christmas.
In the wake of a tremendous first season in the NFL, he gave his mother a gift worth six figures. When she found out what it was, she gave a priceless reaction to what her son gave her.
Justin Jefferson’s road to the NFL
Jefferson essentially played two seasons at LSU — he had no receptions in two games is freshman season — but put up big numbers with 165 receptions for 2,415 yards and 24 touchdowns during his collegiate career.
With stats like those, it’s no wonder that he went high in the 2020 draft, with the Vikings taking him with the 22nd pick. And he can thank his bloodlines, at least partially, for making it to the league. The Advocate writes that Jefferson had two brothers before him who played for LSU’s football team, and he had been watching his older siblings playing on the gridiron for most of his life.
Seeing his brothers, who he looked up to, play against the likes of Cam Newton cemented Jefferson’s love of the game and desire to follow in their footsteps. Jefferson’s father also recalls his son carrying a football with him wherever he went as a child, indicating a lifelong interest in the game.
Excelling as a rookie in the NFL
Spotrac tells us that the Vikings signed Jefferson to a four-year rookie contract worth more than $13 million, with more than $7 million coming in the form of a signing bonus. Jefferson made $610,000 this season, and he earned every penny of that — and much more.
He grabbed 88 receptions, gaining 1,400 yards on them, and scoring seven touchdowns. His yardage total put him fourth in the league in receiving yards.
He was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team, something that isn’t easy for a rookie to accomplish, especially this season when there are no alternates or substitutes named as there are in most seasons.
Justin Jefferson’s extravagant gift to his mother
The Pioneer Press tells the touching story of Jefferson’s Christmas surprise for his mother. He couldn’t visit her because of COVID restrictions, but he did what many people did with long-distance family members — visited her virtually.
The two met over FaceTime, and Jefferson told the woman who raised him that he wanted to give her something big to thank her for everything she has done for him in his life. While she was standing outside her house, he told her to look to her right, toward the driveway, where there was a new Range Rover parked with a giant ribbon on it.
Her reaction was simply to cover her mouth in surprise and continuously ask her son if he was serious. Jefferson said being able to do that “was special” because his “mama always told [him] that her dream car was the Range Rover” and he wanted to do something special for her for his first Christmas in the NFL.
Justin Jefferson’s bright future in the NFL
That is unlikely to be the only extravagant gift Jefferson will ever buy a family member. Based on how well he did in his rookie season, he looks like he will be one of the best receivers in the league for years to come.
If his rookie performance doesn’t turn out to be a fluke and Jefferson can avoid serious injury, his rookie contract will pale in comparison to the next deal he signs, either an extension with Minnesota or in free agency.