When Nazair Jones was a junior in high school, he was diagnosed with a rare disease called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a disease that took doctors two months to even diagnose, and one that caused Jones to lose 40 pounds and forced him to re-learn how to walk again.
That's why the University of North Carolina defensive tackle was so thankful when the Seattle Seahawks selected him in the third round (No. 102 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft when considering all he had been through to get to this point.
"I'm really just blessed man, to go through everything I've went through, just to still be drafted into the NFL," Jones said. "I really can't ask for anything more than that."
It's also one of the reasons why the 22-year-old Tar Heel couldn't come up with much when asked to name what his dream job would be if not for the NFL.
"I just got my dream job," he said. "I don't know what else to say."
While not quite as glamorous as professional football, there is one side venture that Jones seems particularly proud of: M.A.D.E. Men Mentoring, a non-profit he started while in college that pairs underprivileged youth with college athletes who serve as mentors. The idea came from the impact a mentor named Mac Booker, who Jones said passed away last year, had on Jones growing up.
"I knew how big of an impact he had on my life," he said. "So basically I just wanted to pass on the impact he had on me to someone who looks up to me."
Here's 12 more things to know about the Seahawks' fifth pick in the 2017 draft:
Jones:"Pretty much everybody just calls me Naz."
2. College Major?
Jones:"I was a communication major."
Jones: "I played the drums growing up and I taught myself how to play piano my sophomore year in college."
4. Athlete You Idolized Growing Up?
Jones: "Julius Peppers."
5. Favorite T.V. Show?
Jones: "Bob's Burgers."
6. Favorite Movie?
7. Actor Who Would Play You In A Movie?
Jones: "I don't know, who would play me in a movie? I'd say if Will Smith gained some weight, he might be able to pull it off. He might be able to pull it off. I don't think he's cute enough, though."
8. Favorite Video Game?
Jones: "NCAA Football, any one of them."
9. Projected Madden Rating?
Jones:"I'm going to go simple, like 75, just to be safe. If it's lower than that I might be a little mad, but I'd say 75's about average, right? They haven't seen me yet. I've still got my best football to play."
10. Favorite Restaurant?
Jones: "Bojangles, for sure."
11. Dog Or Cat Person?
Jones: "I have a dog, her name's Roxy. She's a Pit Bull. She's used to the country, so I think I'll keep her down here with my family, and maybe I'll get a Bulldog. I want a French Bulldog super bad. Maybe I can get one of those when I get up there [to Seattle]."
12. Best Advice You'e Ever Received?
Jones:"The best advice I've ever received was to be me and be humble. I think that got me a long way."
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Photos of new Seahawks defensive lineman Nazair Jones from North Carolina.