After eight seasons in the National Football League, Rulon Jones of the Denver Broncos has established himself as one of the best defensive ends in professional football.
With his great mobility, Jones is a relentless pass rusher who plays with intensity and emotion. Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 260 pounds, Jones is likely to be named All-Pro for the third year in a row and play in the Pro Bowl, the NFL All-Star game.However, off the football field, Jones is a devoted husband and father of four. He's considered "the nicest guy you would ever want to meet" by teammates and is a dedicated Latter-day Saint.
Unfortunately for the Washington Redskins, when they go up against Jones in the Super Bowl, the championship game of professional football, they will be seeing the other side of Jones. That's the fierce competitive side that led to him being named the American Football Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 1986.
Jones was a second-round draft pick out of Utah State University. During his senior year at USU, he returned to Church after years of being less-active. In his fireside talks, he counsels youths to not take a chance on falling away from the Church.
"The thing I don't want to happen is to have some youth think he can have a wild time and then straighten out when he wants to," Jones once told Deseret News sports writer Doug Robinson.
He's proud to be a member of the Church. "You realize a lot of LDS people are interested in you because you're LDS, too," he said Jan. 27.
"He's a great ward member," said Bishop Randy Merrick of the Eastlake Ward, Denver Colorado North Stake. "He's assistant high priests group leader, and he doesn't like missing church [during the season]. He wishes he were there.'
Bishop Messick said Jones is a quiet man who is humble yet willing to serve. Jones' wife, Kathy, is Young Women president.
"Everybody likes him," the bishop said. The only think that seems to bother Jones is for people to pronounce his first name Roolawn instead of Roolun.
In the off seasons, Jones has served in the Denver Temple and as a stake missionary. He speaks at firesides and helps in reactivation efforts.