The All-Big 12 safety is, unfortunately, familiar with hardship. At just 12-years-old, Jones lost his father, Bert, to liver cancer. That tragedy forced Jones to mature at a faster rate and take on more of a leadership role in his own home as the second-oldest of five boys.
“His father meant a lot to him, and the memory of his father means a lot to him still to this day,” Herman said. “When he got drafted, he called me to thank me – that’s the kind of kid he is – and thank our program for everything we’ve done. I told him ‘there’s a guy up in heaven right now that’s probably got the biggest smile up in the joint because he’s so proud of you,’ and he agreed with me.”
An ear-to-ear grin graces Jones’ face when he recalls his earliest football memory – a moment sparked by the motivation of his late father. Jones’ football career began at the ripe age of six where he started off on the offensive side of the ball at running back, the same position his father played.
With a little self-scouting, Bert Jones used his knowledge as a ball carrier to aid his son in making a game-changing play on defense; a moment that ignited Brandon’s belief that he could one day play in the National Football League.
“I remember my dad coming up to talk to me,” Jones said. “The game was on the line, we were on defense and he said, ‘you need to find a way to get the ball out. Nobody your age is thinking about ball security, so strip the ball.’ The play comes, they’re on the 15-yard-line going in, I strip the ball, take it back and score. That was kind of my turning point. I started scoring multiple touchdowns a game and I remember my dad telling me, ‘you keep this up you could play on Sundays.’ He was joking but that was one of the quotes that stuck with me for the remainder of my life.”