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HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – Taken by the Texans in the fourth round of the NFL draft, rookie center Ben Jones has taken an unusual path into the NFL. Here are 10 things that you didn’t know about Ben Jones.
1. Jones is as country as they come, and grew up on a 500 acre farm in Bibb County Alabama. His family raised livestock, and he has worked on the farm his entire life.
2. When Jones was only 10, his father Steve Jones was killed in a freak helicopter crash. Steve was a forester, and after inspecting timber for insect damage his helicopter’s tail blades got caught in the trees while landing.
3. After his father’s death the family sold all of their cattle and became pine farmers in his honor.
4. His brother Clay Jones played baseball at Alabama and now works in their strength and conditioning program.
5. Jones’ father was a Georgia graduate, and honoring his father’s memory was a big part of his decision to go there.
6. He still dives his first car, a 2004 standard Toyota Tundra with camouflage seats that he uses around the farm.
7. Jones is a diehard quail hunter, and almost shot his brother once while hunting.
8. Jones played whatever sports he could growing up, but was most successful as a wrestler. In middle school he only lost three matches and won national championships in the fifth and sixth grades. He stopped wrestling in high school because he couldn’t make the weight cuts, and started playing football because it was more conducive to his body type.
9. In college, Jones became known among Georgia football players for accepting crazy dares. For $20 he has eaten grasshoppers, praying mantises, and believes that what doesn’t kill him makes him stronger.
10. His best friends on the Texans are fellow rookies Brandon Brooks and Randy Bullock, who is from the Houston area. Jones and many of the other out-of-state rookies rely on Bullock for advice on what to do around Houston, and spent time at his ranch fishing and hunting in the offseason.