Jonathan Jones has competed his way into a great new moniker.
The New England Patriots cornerback has received a much-deserved nickname from his teammates, according to a feature from The Athletic’s Nick Underhill published Tuesday. Jones’ teammates have begun calling him “little bodybuilder” due to his relatively small stature and impressive physique, which he hones relentlessly in the team’s weight room.
“You see him in there on the squat bar,” Patriots special teams star Matthew Slater said, “and you’re like, ‘Wait, that guy can do that much weight?’ It’s really impressive, and I think that’s a testament to not only his work ethic and his commitment to the game, but he’s got a lot of God-given ability. I think what you see now at this point in his career is the culmination of that ability with his work ethic, and the weight room’s been a big part of that.”
Jones joined the Patriots as an undrafted rookie in 2016 but has risen from predominantly special-teams duty to one of the team’s most reliable defensive backs. His strength helps him contain opposing receivers as a slot cornerback, earning him a new contract, a fresh nickname and some playful ribbing from fellow defensive backs.
“He’s working on his beach body,” cornerback Jason McCourty joked.
Of the many nicknames sports locker rooms have spawned over the years, Jones’ has to be among the most fitting.