Football Program Q&A: Matt Jones

Photo by Gil Talbot
Photo by Gil Talbot

• What is your concentration?
Economics, with a citation in Spanish.

• What do you hope to do in life once football is finished?
Ideally, I will find a job in the Atlanta area and get a dog. I'm certainly keeping my options open, but the dog is non-negotiable.

• Can you explain the nuances of your position and provide something for the casual fan to better understand what you're seeing on the field?
My job on the field is to create opportunities for the running back to run and the quarterback to throw. I accomplish this in tandem with the other offensive linemen. It's much more complicated than that, but that's what it ultimately comes down to.

• What is your first memory of football?
I was finally allowed to play tackle football in 5th grade. I remember being so excited and running around my house with all my pads on before the season even started.

• What's your favorite Harvard team to watch as a fan?
Basketball – shout out to my roommates: Corey, Tommy, and James!

• What are the hardest parts of being a student-athlete at Harvard?
You're always tired – but you learn to adapt.

• What's the best part of a home football day?
Being able to spend time with my teammates after a victory!

• What do you like lining up against in practice?
Stone Hart – he's the strongest player I've ever gone up against. 

• Who has the best nickname on the team, and why?
Eric Wilson – "Deric" – Eric is normally a friendly, happy guy. But when the circumstances are right, "Deric" comes out and he's a force to be reckoned with.

• Do you have a nickname?
If so, how did it come about? Coach Murphy calls me Jonesy; the nickname's origins are self-explanatory. 

• How has playing football at Harvard better prepared you for life?
Nothing else I do in life will be harder than doing sixteen 110-yard sprints immediately followed by 60 up-downs during summer dawgs. The grind of the real world doesn't scare me.

• What do you think when you hear Harvard's mission statement: 'Education Through Athletics?'
The number of valuable lessons learned on the field nearly equals the number learned in the classroom. 

• What do you want your Harvard legacy to be?
I'd like to be remembered as a guy who had his teammates' backs on the field. 

• If you weren't playing football, you would be…
Weighing 220 pounds.

• What is your favorite football memory?
Beating Princeton in overtime my sophomore year.

• What are your favorite places to eat in the square?
I exclusively eat El Jefe's. I might go to Chipotle if I have a gift card there.

• If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
The Undertaker, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

• Best football movie of all-time? Why?
The Longest Yard (the Adam Sandler one). Not because it's good, but because it has a lot of my favorite pro wrestlers in it!

• If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be and why?
Bill Gates, so I could make a generous donation to a certain offensive lineman at Harvard…

• If you could go back, what's one piece of advice you would give to yourself as a freshman?
Utilize the cold tubs in the training room more… my legs would've been a lot less sore!

• Who has the best dance moves on the team? The worst?
Wes and Adam are the obvious picks for best, although Tim O'Brien is sneaky good. As for worst, I'd probably say myself. 

• Your favorite 'Murph'-ism (saying or quote from Coach Murphy)?
I like how Coach Murphy wants our team to have "grit" or to be "gritty" – mainly because grits are one of my favorite foods from home that I miss while in Cambridge!