One-on-one with Iowa defensive end Amani Jones

Pregame Editor Pete Ruden caught up with Hawkeye senior Amani Jones to talk about Scooby Doo, mowing lawns, and Tristan Wirfs being a teddy bear.


Joseph Cress

Minnesota running back Shannon Brooks gets tackled by Iowa linebacker Amani Jones during an Iowa/Minnesota football game in Kinnick Stadium on Oct. 28, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Golden Gophers, 17-10.

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

The Daily Iowan: If you could be any movie character, who would choose?

Amani Jones: I would probably have to say Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo, that’s my favorite childhood favorite movie cartoon, all of it. No matter, what he did it was always right. He made a mistake, but that mistake helped the team solve the mystery, so it was always right. And then, I like Scooby snacks. I like candy. I’m a big sweets guy, so anything sweets — they get me.


DI: What’s your dream job after football?
Jones: I really don’t have a dream job. Football is my dream. But for a job after football, it’ll probably have to be something that fits me. Something I like. I’m a big authority guy, big enforcer, so I could probably do something with law.


DI: If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?
Jones: Somewhere where it’s warm. I’ve been in cold all my life, so somewhere where it’s pretty warm or just good weather. I can stand some rain, I can stand a little bit of snow, but it’s just warm throughout the year or most of the year, it’s just warm.

DI: If you could eat a dinner with any three people, who would you choose?
Jones: I would have to say Brad Pitt, [Barack] Obama, and Terry Crews. I feel like those are my people inside me, how I think I am. When I’m being serious, it’s straight Brad Pitt, I need to do this, this, and this. Then, when I’m acting goofy, the Terry Crews comes out of me, just dancing, goofy stuff. Then, Obama would just be me talking to general people. Just giving a word of advice to great people.


DI: You’re not from Iowa, so when you think of the state of Iowa, what sticks out the most?
Jones: Before I came to Iowa, it was straight corn. I didn’t know, I’m sorry. Now that I’ve lived in Iowa, I would probably just have to say the camaraderie of the community. Everyone is for everyone. Support around the room.


DI: What are your favorite sports teams?
Jones: Probably have to say in the NFL, the Bears the Falcons, probably Cowboys, too. Those are my favorite teams. Baseball, [White] Sox are my favorite team. South side, got to do it. I don’t watch soccer. I pretty much don’t watch other sports. Basketball, I’m just a spectator. I just watch. I don’t got no favorite teams, I just watch.


DI: What kind of music do you guys play in the locker room after wins?
Jones: In Kinnick, we really don’t play music. We just turn up with each other because we just did this brotherly thing. But on my moped ride home or car ride home, I’m listening to some music that will get me hype for the night, like ready for the night. Some straight hip hop or some R&B. Some good R&B, some 2000s R&B to get me in the mood to feel good.


DI: Who’s your favorite artist then?
Jones: Favorite artist would be Lil’ Wayne. Hands down. Can’t go wrong.


DI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received from a coach at Iowa.
Jones: I feel like the best advice is mow your own lawn, and that’s from coach [Seth] Wallace. You can’t mow your neighbor’s yard and your yard’s looking a mess — just trash. So, just mow your yard first, and then if you have the energy and you have the pride to go ask your neighbor like, ‘Let me mow your lawn for you, too. I can do that.’ That means, to me, take care of what you have to do first, then worry about other people… It’s a team game so everyone needs help in some areas.


DI: Who’s the biggest teddy bear on the team? Like terrifying on the outside but just really nice inside?
Jones: Tristan Wirfs. He’s humungous. He’s super humongous, but when you get to know him, he’s a big softie. He always wants to laugh and giggle, and high five people. But if you’re just an average human being and you look at Tristan, you’d be like, “Dude…” As he gets close to you, you’d be like, “Bro. How tall are you? How much do you weigh?”

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