- Multidisciplinary Studies
Jones is an above average student who is on track to graduate with his undergraduate degree in December 2012. Just as he is a leader for the team on the field, he has taken that same approach to his classroom responsibilities, staying on top of his degree requirements and taking care of business so that he is in a position to graduate in four-plus years. In fact, the opportunity to complete his degree, graduate with his class and be a senior were among the factors that Jones pointed to when he announced in January that he would return for his senior season with the Sooners. In his head coach’s words, “Landry felt a sense of commitment to complete unfinished business, on and off the field.”
Tests of character have been the rule for Jones throughout his Sooner career rather than the exception. His approach to the tests has been constant and consistent. As a redshirt freshman, he was thrown into the spotlight when the defending Heisman Trophy winner went down with an injury early in the season. Jones responded with an award-winning season. Prior to his junior season, he and his teammates had to deal with the death of another teammate and Jones was often the vocal and emotional leader who helped his teammates deal with the unthinkable. He uses his faith as a steadying and guiding force in his life. With that philosophy, he has answered character challenges that are well beyond his years, as he understands that the game is just a small part of what his life is all about. Again, quoting from his head coach, “Landry understands that his leadership role goes well beyond his actions on the football field. Without question, he sets a tremendous example for his teammates whether it’s in the classroom, in the weight room or on Saturday afternoons. But the depth of his character and his commitment to others runs much deeper.” Another person with whom Jones has spent a large amount of time because of Jones’ work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as a team leader adds “He is tireless as he makes himself available to encourage youth to make great choices in their faith, education, and personal values. I also had the privilege of being on his team trip to Haiti this past year. His leadership is remarkable with his own team but the way he interacted and loved on the Haitian children was unforgettable. I have served youth and coaches for the past 20 years on the collegiate level. Student-athletes like Landry Jones just don’t come around very often. His personal faith and character off the field matches his competitiveness and drive on the field and classroom.”
Jones is one of the most requested speakers among OU’s student-athletes and he makes an effort to do as many of those that he can. He finds time weekly to interact with elementary, middle and high school students as well other individuals through youth outreaches and speaking engagements. His head coach calls him a “truly selfless young man.” For two years, Jones has led members of the Sooner football team on a humanitarian trip to earthquake-ravaged Haiti through the Mission of Hope. His coach adds, “While in Haiti on behalf of Mission of Hope, Landry blended in as just another relief worker toiling under brutal conditions. Whether it was laboring on housing projects, or bringing comfort to orphaned children, he embraced those challenges with his trademark smile and humble disposition.” To those children he played with and the adults he worked with, he wasn’t one of the preseason Heisman favorites. He was just another person with a huge heart full of compassion for others. Another person who has witnessed Jones in action says, “Landry shows a sincere concern for the welfare of others, especially spiritually. He loves his teammates, embraces his fans and impacts his community in a very positive manner. I know many people are encouraged from watching Landry’s years at the University of Oklahoma. He’s demonstrated the utmost integrity and character.”
Jones enters his senior season as one of the preseason Heisman Trophy favorites and is OU’s all-time passing leader with 12,379 yards. A Manning finalist as a junior, he is on the 2012 watch lists for the Manning, Maxwell, Davey O’Brien and Walter Camp awards. He enters his senior season with nine career 400-yard passing games and 21 300-yard games, marks that cover 75 percent of the games he has played in. He ranks fifth on the Big 12’s all-time career passing list and is 29-8 as the Sooner starter. He leads all active NCAA players with his 12,379 career passing yards and 93 touchdowns. He enters the season tied with current OU running backs coach Cale Gundy (1990-93) for most career starts with 37 and is just three wins away from tying Steve Davis (1973-75) for the OU career victories record of 32 wins. He was the outstanding offensive player of the game at the 2011 Fiesta Bowl and was named to multiple All-America and All-Big 12 teams as a sophomore. He owns OU single game school records for yards passing (505) and touchdowns (6) and should own most of OU’s career records for passing when his career ends.