When the biggest moment of his life finally happened, the family and friends of Brandon Jones thought he was pranking them.
The Texas Longhorns safety was caught unawares on his way up the staircase on Friday when he got a call from a Fort Lauderdale number. He was the newest member of the Miami Dolphins as the 70th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Since Jones didn’t even know which team was on the board, he said that he was shocked to find out he was drafted. And, initially, no one believed him.
“I answered it and talked to the coach and the GM, and I was legit speechless,” Jones said. “I was shocked. Everybody downstairs thought it was a prank call. They thought I went upstairs and prank called myself. They didn’t believe I was on the phone. I told them it was the Dolphins and everyone froze and then got hyped and started screaming, so I could barely hear. It was an experience I’ll remember forever.”
Jones played in the Under Armour All-American game in 2016, weeks before he picked the Longhorns, but he hasn’t been to Miami before. Consider him happy to head to South Beach, though.
“I know it’s awesome and the weather will be amazing,” Jones said. “I’m excited for sure. I really don’t know what to expect, but I’m just excited to get started.”
Is he as happy as his girlfriend about that destination? Well, that’s up for debate.
The look you give when your man is taking you to Miami and not Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/GJcUaPCe8c— Rocky Osborn (@rockyknowsbest) April 25, 2020
As soon as Jones started to make the official transition to the NFL, he was already receiving support from former Longhorns. Baltimore Ravens safety DeShon Elliott drove over to see him. He got texts from Kenny Vaccaro and Quandre Diggs. In a video, Kris Boyd shouted him out. Jones said it was “awesome” to have that support.
“Just having guys with experience and getting a head start and jump into things when it comes to learning the ins and outs of the NFL and how it is — how to dress, what I need to take in, and what’s going to get me on the field the quickest,” Jones said.
In a rebuilding organization, Jones should have those opportunities as the Dolphins add a host of draft picks and free agents after the team traded away its most valuable assets last year. With the selection of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the first round, there may finally be some buzz around Miami.
“They’re an organization that’s building, and it’s going to be really exciting to be around those guys. Everybody on that team has the same goals and same dreams and aspirations that I have, so I thought it was a really great fit for me. I definitely know the DB room is going to be competitive and that those guys will take me under their wing. I’m really excited to learn and take in as much as I can, and hopefully, whether it’s on defense or special teams, just earn my way on the field as soon as possible.”
Expect Jones to put himself in the best possible position to contribute early — Miami general manager Chris Grier told Jones that “we love the passion you play with” and that he was picked in part because of how highly his former teammates and coaches regard him.
For Jones, he’s just trying to appreciate the fact that he’s finally reached the goal he’s strived to achieve throughout his entire football career.
“It’s a dream come true for sure,” Jones said. “I can’t put it into words how grateful I am, not only for the Dolphins organization for taking a chance on me, but for The University of Texas for molding me and making me the player I am today. Shout out to Coach Herman, Coach Naivar, Yancy McKnight, all those guys in the facility, Kevin Washington for really reminding me of not only being a football player, but the man I am today. Of course, most importantly, my family, I owe them everything and love them so much.”
Even if they didn’t believe him at first when he said he got drafted.