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A receiver for one of the top offensive teams in the country, North Carolina sophomore JJ Jones has seen his role elevate throughout his time with the Tar Heels. A native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, JJ appeared in 8 games over the course of his freshman year before becoming a go-to wide receiver in the 2022 season, appearing in 13 of the Tar Heels games. After undergoing hip surgery after the 2022 season, JJ says he is ready for the road ahead and will be guided by his faith throughout the journey.

Photo Courtesy of UNC Athletics
JJ was a star for Myrtle Beach High School, ranked as the no. 3 player in the state in his class. As he developed on the field and became a prime target for North Carolina, his faith also played a key role in his life throughout his upbringing. With faith instilled in him from a young age, he says he has recently made it a point more than ever before to make sure it is a priority.

“I grew up in a Christian household with both my parents and siblings. We’d go to church on our free Saturdays, but it really wasn’t until my freshman year that I really started to learn more about my faith and pray more and read scripture more.”

Now finishing up his second year with the team, JJ says he has seen faith play a paramount role in his career as a football player. He says he has turned to God in both the good times and the bad to remind himself of where his identity lies.

“Faith is an essential role in my life and especially my football career. I wouldn’t be able to play the game I love if it wasn’t for God giving me the abilities to play at this level.”

Photo Courtesy of UNC Athletics
JJ says that his faith allows him to stay grounded, knowing that wins or losses are not what define him.

“Regardless of outcome on the field, I know that my faith is the bigger picture.”

After just finishing hip surgery in preparation for the upcoming season, JJ’s journey has not been without its trials along the way. As JJ looks to the future, he says he wants to use his career to be a light in the lives of all those that he encounters. With his platform, JJ says that he just wants to make God’s name known.

“I just want to spread the word of God. And just let people know that the Lord can take all your pain away if you just talk to him.”

JJ says that talking to God and going to him in every situation is the reason he is where he is today.

With one of the most exciting and explosive offenses in college football, expectations and excitement are at an all-time high for North Carolina. As JJ looks to become a pivotal piece to that offense, he knows that his goals lie beyond just the football field. With his gifts, JJ strives to make an impact and let others know that God is the reason he is able to take the field and play at his best every Saturday with a smile on his face.

 

Ethan Kruse

One Reply to “JJ Jones - Trusting the Trials”

  1. JJ makes me proud. I’m a big fan because I’ve seen him grow up from a little kid running around the gym to a young man walking the halls of high school to now. Thank you for sharing your faith JJ.

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