For today’s edition of “Where Are They Now?”, we are reaching back into history a bit, to talk about a wide receiver that was expected to do big things. The Jets went out of their way to choose this player with the second overall pick in his NFL draft, although he wasn’t known as a football player. However, the pick is another that is on the list of New York Jets jokes. We are talking about Johnny “Lam” Jones.
For the younger fans that might not know much about Jones, he was drafted by the Jets with the second pick overall in the 1980 draft. However, he did not make his reputation as a football player! You heard me. He made his reputation as an Olympic sprinter, with a gold medal to his credit. He also ran the anchor leg for the relay team in high school, and in one race, took the final baton with between 40-60 meters to make up, passed the entire field to win the race.
However, he did break into football in college at the University of Texas. He only averaged 28 receptions per season with the Longhorns. Most teams that are “normal” would have been turned away by this, but not our Jets. He did average 18.9 yards per catch and record 14 TDs. So the Jets went and took him with the second pick overall in the 1980 draft.
For all of the expectations that come with being the second pick in the draft, he had more than a modest career with the Jets, and was out of football after 1984. Take a look:
|1984||New York Jets||8||–||32||470||14.7||37||1||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|1983||New York Jets||14||–||43||734||17.1||50T||4||4||10||2.5||9||0||–||–|
|1982||New York Jets||8||–||18||294||16.3||51||2||1||2||2.0||2||0||–||–|
|1981||New York Jets||15||–||20||342||17.1||47T||3||2||0||0.0||5||0||–||–|
|1980||New York Jets||16||–||25||482||19.3||55||3||2||5||2.5||7||0||–||–|
Lam Jones has had it a bit tough since leaving the football scene. He battled drug and alcohol addiction which started in high school. As a rookie, he was taken out for a hazing incident where shots were downed, unbeknownst to Jones, of Coke and 7 Up. Obviously this didn’t help the problem.
The issue continued after his playing days, until a sexual molestation incident sent Lam to rehab. To his absolute credit, he has recovered and now lectures on the subject.
In 2005 he was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, however today he is in remission.
#80, WR Lam Jones