College of Business and Innovation senior Orion Jones is an impressive defensive lineman on the Toledo Rockets football team who had three sacks when the undefeated Rockets bested Arkansas State in the Glass Bowl in September.
In addition to admitting “I just like to hit the quarterback and tackle people,” Orion credits much of his success on the football field to his grandfather…who taught him how to wrestle.
Orion claims that he started playing football “late, in the fourth grade,” but that “wrestling really helped me with football, teaching me body control and leverage.”
“I’ve always been a defensive lineman, and I’ve been good at that position ever since Jenks High School in (his home state of) Oklahoma,” where he was ranked number two and received all conference and all state recognition.
“I had schools like Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas reaching out to me. When the coaches from Toledo came and visited me and my family, I had never heard of it. The coaches were honest with me and my family, so I just prayed about it and I committed to Toledo.”
“The culture of the team is changing, and the energy is an amazing thing. The biggest surprise is when I play, I really feel like I’m not doing anything. It’s mystical to be a player in college. I feel something I never felt before. I just kept believing in God, and I speak to the source of everything every morning. I literally ask him, ‘Let me get a sack,’ then I get a sack on the next play. I am so thankful about what he is doing for me.”
“The first thing that jumped out to me about UT was the business school. A lot of my family members have their own business.”
“The best thing about UT is opportunity. COBI prepares students through interviews, career fairs, networking and taking care of their students. Darlene Stevens in COBI is my mother away from home, and I am so grateful to her for all she has done for me.”
“My major is professional sales, and last year I did an internship with Owens-Corning. I really loved it; the atmosphere was one of a community, and if I needed help, I could ask anyone.”
“Also, in 2013 I did an internship with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, putting on a camp for about 150 student athletes, where about 40 of them gave their lives to Christ. I am grateful to be a part of it.”
“I love playing football in Toledo, and I think we are going to be undefeated. But now there is more pressure. Our ultimate goal is a MAC championship, and every game counts, ” he said.
“My plan is to play pro football, and I’m pretty sure that I will be a draft prospect. I would love to be a defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys!”
“I basically live for the business school and football and spending time with the team, otherwise I just relax and chill with my teammates and friends. For fun, I like to go out and eat lots, especially shrimp”
With his playing skills, an eye to a professional future, his business classes/internships and his laser focus on his goals, Orion reveals his inner motivations when he says, “I don’t want to let my grandfather, my family or my team down.”
Whether it’s in pro football, business or everyday life, there seems little chance that will ever happen.