Thomas Q. Jones has been breaking stereotypes for the majority of his life. The former NFL’er realizes his influence far outshines his twelve seasons as a pro football player, which were split between the New York Jets, Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs. Today, Jones is among the top 25 leading rushers in NFL history, and has become one of black Hollywood’s rising faces, but his ability to defy the “usual” started long before his days as a professional ball player.
“I’ve always been able to adapt to my environment and I’ve always worn different hats. I’m blessed to have been able to re-brand myself as an actor. It allows me to focus on me and do my own thing,” he says.
Recruited to the University of Virginia on a football scholarship but not the average ball player, Jones took the opportunity to get his degree in three years before going pro. Considering the demanding schedule placed on student athletes, it’s unheard of for athletes to graduate in less than four years and some take a year or two longer so that their schedules aren’t overwhelmed. Jones knew that his destiny was beyond the collegiate football stadium and forced his way through.
Once his professional football career was over, Jones turned to the world of entertainment. Jones created a film and media department and produced a documentary entitled NFL: A Gift or a Curse? The film dealt with the ills of the NFL and offers a different perspective to some of the issues players deal with from generational poverty, being targeted by groupies and financial irresponsibility. From his foray into film, Jones started dabbling with acting and found himself in front of the camera. The opportunities came quickly and Jones re-located to Los Angeles from Miami in order to embrace the culture of Hollywood.
Soon, the opportunities for appearances were coming in and Jones rediscovered himself as a bonafide actor. From a quick cameo in the summer blockbuster film Straight Outta Compton, to TV One’s “Born Again Virgin,” and the critically acclaimed indie film Runaway Island, to his most popular role on BET’s “Being Mary Jane” opposite Gabrielle Union, Jones’ acting career is moving full-speed ahead. He credits his experience with veteran actor Clifton Powell and his manager Reena Patton for his recent success and says he has no plans of slowing down. “Things really took off when I got with my manager Reena Patton. She has a great vision for my career and has put me in a great position so far,” Jones says.
Outside of his acting, Jones is the CEO of CASTAR Applications. The technology company has developed its first mobile app, Castar. The app is a community for creative, talented individuals to showcase their talent, network with industry pros, connect with audiences and agents, grow and manage their fan base, and earn money.