In June, Jaguars wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. showed that his talents extend beyond the field.
In celebrating Jacksonville's own James Weldon Johnson's birthday, Jones provided an acclaimed performance by singing ''Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing,'' one of the most powerful songs of the last 150 years, hailed by many as the black national anthem.
The Jaguars featured Jones' rendition across their social media platforms, and Urban Meyer took to Twitter to compliment Jones.
Jones is now trying to make his most significant impact on the field. After two games, Jones leads the Jaguars with 11 catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
In this past Sunday's 23-13 loss to Denver, Jones caught a 25-yard touchdown on the Jaguars' opening drive before finishing with a team-high six catches for 55 yards.
Jones signed as a free agent with the Jaguars after playing five seasons with the Detroit Lions. Jones is reunited with Jaguars offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who held the same job with the Lions for two season before he arrived in Jacksonville.
What does Jones like most about Jacksonville?
Jones said TIAA Bank Field is what he likes most about Jacksonville, especially the fans in which he said they had the place for last week's opener rocking during introductions.
'' I like the outdoor stadium. That's definitely an upgrade,'' Jones said. ''I haven't been here long enough to say anything else. This is pretty much all I know - the stadium.''
Benefits to playing for a new team as a nine-year veteran?
Jones said it's easier to play for a new coach and new team as a nine-year veteran than a rookie because he knows all the intricacies and how things work in the NFL.
''When you are rookie, you really don't know like your first experiences in the NFL,'' Jones said. ''But when you are a veteran, and have been around different coaches and stuff like that, it's easier to adjust because football is football, especially in the NFL when you have been around a long time. You know the way, and that's important for me, especially getting the young guys up to speed.''
When did he discover he could sing?
''I was four, and I had to do a solo in the church,'' Jones said. ''So that was what i started doing. It was not like it was a surprise or anything. But I came from a whole line of singers on my mom's side.'' Jones auditioned for American Idol in 2017, and he has posted some of his past performances on his Instagram account. He also has his own YouTube channel.©2021 www.jacksonville.com. Visit jacksonville.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.