Name: Maurice Jones
Major: Criminal Justice
Any Pro Experience: Chicago Bears 2013, Erie Explosion 2014
Highlight film link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlI-Npcgv0U
1. What was the most important thing you learned during your career? The most important thing I have learnt during my career thus far is that life is going to punch you in the face, and sometimes in life you have to hit back. Its not always going to be easy, their not always going to give it to you, they are not going to give you success. They are not going to put it on a platter, but if you willing to work for it; If you willing to put in that sweat, the blood and those tears…if your willing to earn it, then it’s yours.
2. What qualities do you possess that makes you a candidate for a professional contract? The qualities I possess that makes me a candidate for a professional contract, First, I do consider myself a professional in my field and with that comes a great deal of responsibility and self development in which I am very familiar with. I also understand that to be apart of a team it is not about the name on the back of the jersey, it is the name on the front. So with that level of understanding I am mentally wired to never think I am one man above the team. So if the team is ready to go to war for 60 minutes plus then I’m ready to go to war with them and vice versa.
3. What motivates you on and off the field? What motivates me on the field is that I’m a competitor. I believe, the heart of a champion is a light switch that’s always on, it doesn’t go on and off when someones watching it’s consistent. It how you look at something if your names attached to it. You do it right, the best of your abilities every single time. Off the field every single thing I go through I remember when I was at rock bottom and I draw from it. Every single time I’m going through pain I remember I’ve gone through pain since I was a kid, I draw from it and recycle my pain, that is my intrinsic motivation. I don’t need something external to motivate me I find something within.
4. What was your major and why did you choose to study that field? My field of study was Criminal Justice. I chose criminal justice for my own well being and to understand my place in the justice system, Let me elaborate. I was convince that in order to be protected by the system you need to know the entire system and it’s history. Believe it or not 90% of people do not know where they stand in our justice system. Now since I have became more knowledgeable of the justice system I completely know my rights and how to handle situations with the law so that it does not become detrimental to my future.
5. What is your routine like as you pursue a professional opportunity? My routine as I pursue my professional career is to wake up everyday as if I’m already playing in the NFL/CFL. My vision allows me to prepare as if I am working to take someones job and fighting to keep mines. I know what is expected of myself in order to become a better than average football player. On a daily, I am improving everywhere from getting stronger, faster, and being in better condition then the next person. I make sure I am constantly working on my tool box and small over looked areas like eating healthy and taking care of my body with proper recovery methods. To narrow it all down, it is about focusing on the 24hrs in front of me. Something to remember, “It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one then to have an opportunity and not be prepared.”
6.What is or are some challenges you faced in your career and how did you overcome them? On a personal level some of the challenges I have been faced with was balancing the bad news of tragic situations where I lost close friends and family members over the course of my high school and college career. Playing football at a high level requires total immersing of the mind, body and spirit. So if one is altered during the course of a game week it can drastically affect a persons performance and ability to focus. The hardship is devastating for anyone. So during those times I had to become more spiritually aligned and develop mental toughness to prepare myself for what the future holds because some things in life are inevitable. An as a professional athlete you have to come to work ready to work day in and day out no matter what. Lastly, An on the field challenge that was hard for me to swallow was me being deprive from my maximum contribution on the field my senior season in college. Due to minor undisclosed reasons I did not play on defense during my senior year and barely contributed on special teams. It was tough going from starting as a freshman and never getting off the field to being on two special team units and barely touching the field towards the end of my college career for. So for someone who is as talented as I am will think it over for them and begin to doubt themselves and their abilities. But that’s one thing I didn’t do I never broke, I bend but never broke. We all know how important your last year is if you plan on furthering your career beyond college. So I just made the most of my time with the teammates and those who stuck in my corner. Everything happens for a reason and we may not like it sometimes, but it made me a better person and who I am today.I can’t go back in history and change what happened but what I could do is recreate a better future for myself and that I have total control over. I’m not looking to prove anyone wrong anymore, I’m looking to prove myself right.
7. What or who is your inspiration. How did you come to that conclusion? What inspires me is my faith in where I trust in the heart of hearts in what I’m doing and what I believe in is a worthy cause, and a winnable fight. For many people, they tried the same path I’m on and they failed. So as I walk this journey I see people all over the place who didn’t quite have it, and that inspires me that I got further than this person and that person. But I’m not looking to get further, I’m looking to finish. Who inspires me is my family. There’s a lot of little kids following behind my footsteps and continuously pushing through the adversity in their lives because they see me still pushing. So if I can do it they believe they can do it. Ultimately, I want to make my parents proud, my schools proud. What I’m doing I’m not just doing this for me, I’m doing it for an entire community.
8.What are some of the contributions you made to your previous program? What about the local community? I am currently involved with a program called inspire the youth where I dedicated a few hours a week as a youth mentor. Over the years I have participated in several community service events including a few Susan G Komen Race for the Cure events in Philadelphia, Read Across America Event, various football camps, Big Brother Big Sister program, Temple University Annual Bone Marrow Drive 2009-2011 and Philadelphia’s Ronald McDonald House’s 3rd annual plane pull.
9.What is your best asset as an athlete and why will it make you successful at the next level? I have the total package. My athleticism would allow me to play on either side of the ball. My range, quickness, instincts, and toughness allows me to be a tremendous player in the defensive secondary. I believe I should have an immediate impact in the secondary and on special teams.
10. What are your plans for a post football career?My plans for a post football career is to immerse myself and excel in the computer information technology field. For the pass few months I have been training and studying to ace my network+ exam I’m taking mid February to receive my CCNA certification and shortly after begin my studies and training for my CCNP certification. I currently have jobs lined up, and lets just say its a pretty nice salary, but I have all my life to work so that life can wait, I won’t be young forever so I’m going to continue play this game because I love it.
11. What is your fondest memory playing football? My fondest memory during my youth would be in 8th grade which was my first year playing organized sports. My head coach Steve Romano asked me for my name, I said Maurice but he nicknamed me Big Mo even considering I was only 5’3″ 115lbs at the time left me scratching my head. During camp my helmet had a huge strip of tape across it saying BIG MO. They even added a quick slant play for me called “Mo slant”. I either got 5 to 10 yards every time is was called or I scored. It was during that time i knew i had the “It” factor. So from that day on everyone calls me Mo even to this day. In high school my fondest moment was when we were at home vs Passaic High. We both had the same record and the winner would earn a playoff birth. I was the town star at the time and was playing with a fractured leg I got from the previous game and was limited in this game. It was the 4th quarter and it was 3rd down with under a minute left and they where driving the ball down on us. I will never forget it: The QB scrambles to get the 1st, we stop him short while gang tackling him he fumbles. Everyone in the pile fighting to get recover it but nobody knows who has the ball. I fall on it and cover it up like my life depended on and nobody knew. I was celebrating in my head seconds before the crowd. So while the refs are trying to find which team has the ball, after pulling everyone off the pile I’m the last one to come up with the ball risen to the sky with my right hand and our stadium went nuts. That feeling was truly special; the screams,the cheers the smiles, the tears. It was a surreal moment in my life. It felt like we won the Superbowl and till this day I can still close my eyes and relive that exact moment. Lastly, my fondest memories in college was the grind, the grind, the grind. We handled business 90% of the time in games were we won more times than we lost but it was those hard times during the training camps, winter conditioning, spring ball, and summer workouts with all my teammates. it was the things we went through that made us a team that are my most fondest moments…I am TempleMade.