Lamar Jackson’s mother, Felicia Jones, has worn a lot of hats over the years as she raised her son. Felicia has been Lamar’s mother, coach, motivator and friend. Given how close Lamar is to his mother, it was no surprise he opted not to sign with an agent as his mom handles some of the responsibilities that an agent normally oversees.
According to the Courier-Journal, Lamar’s father passed away when he was eight, leaving Felicia to raise Lamar and his brother, Jamar. Lamar spoke with ESPN about how his mother coached him growing up.
“People don’t believe me,” Jackson told ESPN. “She was an athlete. She used to play basketball. She saw what we were able to do, and she’d go back there and play football with us. She was just making us tougher because she’s older, so she’s bringing power that we’re not used to feeling. We didn’t take it like anything different.”
Learn more about Lamar’s mother, and the woman helping him through the NFL draft process.
1. Lamar Did Not Hire an Agent & His Mother Is Serving As His Manager
There was some confusion during the pre-draft process on Lamar hiring an agent. It had been reported that his mother would be acting as his agent, but Lamar cleared things up in an interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
“Lamar Jackson told me that his mom is not his agent, ‘she is my manager’ and he added ‘I represent myself.’ Jackson told me he does not think an agent is necessary with the current rookie scale for initial #NFL contracts,” Josina tweeted.
Lamar opted not to sign an agent, as he did not want them to take a cut of his first contract. He told Denver 9News’ Mike Klis he did not hire an agent, because he did not want them to “take a cut of my paycheck and I feel I deserve it.”
Optimum Scouting’s Eric Galko reported that Lamar’s decision not to hire an agent could be concerning to some NFL teams.
“I’ll just leave this here: Per the NFL official SRA list, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson does not have an NFL agent representing him…No matter what your thoughts on agents are, that’s notable. And potentially concerning…For the record, this is Lamar Jackson’s choice [not to hire an agent]. His mother is aiding in his NFL Draft preparation. NFL teams do care about who a player signs with and how they handle the process,” Eric tweeted.
2. Lamar Calls His Mom the Best Coach He Has Ever Had
Lamar penned an article for The Players’ Tribune describing how he was introduced to football. Lamar detailed the workout regimen that he used to do with Felicia when he was growing up in South Florida. He noted the best coach of his career was his first coach, his mother.
A lot of people helped me get better when I was young, but the best coach I’ve ever had was also my first one: Mom. And I’m not saying that just because she looked out for me and encouraged me to pursue football and all that stuff. I mean she actually made me grind to get better.
I grew up in a town called Pompano Beach, and there was a big bridge by our house. My Mom and I would run on it just about every day. Didn’t matter how hot it was. We’d go back and forth, and then back and forth again. And let me tell you, Mom was in shape! I’ve never played in a football game that was more tiring than those long runs on that bridge.
After we ran, we’d go into our backyard, put on equipment and start hitting — me, my younger brother and my mom. Now she was never like trying to put a lick on us or anything, but we’d all run through drills together. We bonded that way. Thinking back on it, imagining my mini self in a three-point stance blocking Mom, it’s kind of hilarious. But she knew what she was doing. She had a vision for my football career even before I did.
3. Lamar Gave an Emotional “Thank You” to His Mother During His Heisman Trophy Acceptance Speech
After a breakout 2016 college campaign at Louisville, Lamar won the Heisman Trophy. It is no surprise that the first person he thanked in his acceptance speech was his mother as UPI.com detailed.
To my mother…oh my God, I’m just happy to be here. I’m sorry man. I wasn’t nervous at first because I didn’t know who was going to win this award, but to be up here, it’s great. It’s crazy man. These guys are great. I’m just happy right now. But back to my mother. She put so much into me, like I said before, losing my father and my grandma on the same day. It hurt me. I wanted to cry real bad, but my mom was the real soldier, because I was going to be the baby, the female that day. But she told me, ‘Lamar do not cry,’ and I’ll remember that for the rest of my life. So every time when certain things don’t go my way, or this and that don’t happen, I just own up to it and be a man about the situation. And Mom, I love you so much.
4. Felicia Prefers Not to Do Interviews & Wants the Attention to Stay on Her Son
Felicia’s dedication to raising her son is inspiring, but she prefers that Lamar stays at the center of attention. According to the Courier-Journal, she frequently declines media interviews. Louisville coach Bobby Petrino explained to the Courier-Journal that she prefers to maintain her family’s privacy.
“She is a lady who is extremely proud of her son, extremely proud of how she’s helped him develop, and not only physically but mentally, and she wants to have her privacy throughout this entire issue,” Bobby told the Courier-Journal. “She’s been consistent with that, with anybody that’s reached out and talked to her, that she just wants to watch her son play and have everyone respect that for her.”
Not only does she prefer to remain out of the spotlight, Felicia looks out for her son, and it can take a while to earn her trust. Louisville assistant coach Lamar Thomas spoke to the Courier-Journal about how he earned Felicia’s confidence.
Felicia is a hard woman, and it took her a long time to warm up to me, but I was able to do it. She’s one of those people who looks you in the eye, and she wants the truth. She cares about her son. She’s done a lot for that young man to get him to that point, and here she was, she was trusting me and the University of Louisville. When Coach Petrino said yes, it was a done deal at that point.
5. Lamar’s Dad Died From a Heart Attack When He was 8 Years Old
According to the Courier-Journal, Lamar’s father died of a heart attack when Lamar was just eight years old. The Courier-Journal detailed some of the confusion that has centered around his father’s death.
The quarterback told The Courier-Journal last month that his father died of a heart attack. Previous media reports have stated he died in a car accident, but there is no case for him in the Broward County Medical Examiner’s office, meaning his death would have been from natural causes.
Jackson said he doesn’t have much memory of his father’s death and doesn’t dwell on it much now that he’s a grown man himself. He said that when his dad was living, he was a ‘father’s boy.’
Lamar noted he began to grow closer to his mom after his father’s death. Now the two are inseparable, and a big reason why Lamar is headed to the NFL.