This is the sixth in a series of stories on Outland Trophy winners from 2006 to 2020. From 1946 to 2005, the first 60 Outland Trophy winners were profiled in the book 60 Years of the Outland Trophy by Gene Duffey. In celebration of the Outland Trophy’s 75th Anniversary we are catching up with the last 15 recipients.
(Barrett Jones was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the then St. Louis Rams. He played 10 games with the Rams over two seasons. In 2017, Jones become a broadcaster for ESPN Radio and remains an analyst on the network’s college football and NFL programs. Jones, an Academic All-American at Alabama, claimed the National Football Foundation’s William V. Campbell Trophy, the “Academic Heisman,” and the Wuerffel Trophy, which is awarded to a college football player for his combined athletic, academic and community service.)
By Gene Duffey, Author
It happened when Barrett Jones was only 12. He spent his youth in Germantown, Tenn., a toney suburb of Memphis. His father, Rex, was a successful car dealer.
Rex Jones decided that Barrett, and his other two sons, needed to see life on the other side of the tracks. He wanted them to understand that there were many people in this world who were not as privileged as they were.
In the summer of 2002 Barrett and his family traveled with a group from Bellevue Baptist Church to Honduras.
“We wanted to show them how big the world is and I wanted them to see kids who get up every day trying to find something to eat,” Rex Jones said of his sons. “I wanted them to be givers. That trip really rocked (Barrett’s) world. He realized that the world didn’t circle around him.”
The trip rocked Barrett so much that he decided he wanted to go on another mission. “It was an experience I’ll never forget,” he said. “It opened my eyes to the rest of the world, how fortunate we are in America. It’s something I have a passion for and want to do the rest of life.”
The perfect opportunity arose in 2010 when Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake that killed approximately 300,000 and made another million homeless.
Barrett called his father and told him that he needed to go to Haiti. He passed up a family ski vacation and followed his heart.
Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, needed help. It needed people like Barrett Jones. He worked in a refugee camp, mostly with kids whose parents had died in the earthquake. He even played the violin (started at age 3), entertaining the kids with hymns and spiritual songs.More…