By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
1:47 PM EST, February 27, 2013
Ravens Pro Bowl kick returner Jacoby Jones strutted, shook and swaggered his way into NFL end zones last season, performing his unique set of dancing moves after touchdowns.
He established a popular brand of fancy footwork, and it didn't go unnoticed.
Now, Jones is preparing for a Dancing with the Stars competition that begins March 18 on ABC.
"I'm excited," Jones told The Baltimore Sun in a quick telephone interview. "Yeah, it's pretty cool. I can't wait to get started."
Jones, who scored a pair of touchdowns in the Ravens' Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers, was the first contestant announced by ABC. He's hoping to become the fourth NFL player to win the dancing competition following previous wns by Emmitt Smith, Hines Ward and Donald Driver.
And Jones' mother, Emily London-Jones, in a telephone interview from New Orleans, said dancing runs in the family and described her son as a natural.
"I love to dance," said London-Jones, a popular figure with the Ravens after feeding the entire football team during the Super Bowl in New Orleans with her highly-praised Cajun cooking. "My family loves to dance, we all love to dance. Jacoby gets his dancing from me. It's a religious thing for us, the gospel music. Jacoby grew up with the blues. It's in his blood. We are all going to be glued to the television.
"I told Jacoby, 'I want you to take up ballet.' He's pigeon-toed and he's got to drag that foot to get those touchdowns. He told me, 'Mama, I can't do no ballet,' but he has some foxtrot in him. He's got that rhythm to coordinate. I know the judges are going to love his charisma, and his moves."
Jones will be paired with Karina Smirnoff, a past winner, as his dancing partner.
The NFL player will be competing with the following stars: Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, comedian Andy Dick, comedian D.L. Hughley, figure skater Dorothy Hamill, actor Ingo Rademacher, singer Kellie Pickler, reality television star Lisa Vanderpump, boxer Victor Ortiz, singer Wynonna Judd and actress and singer Zendaya Coleman.
"I'm excited, I was late for work because I wanted to see him go on Good Morning America," London-Jones said. "It's cool, I'm so excited. We're going to see how far he goes because he's got some competition. I'm glad he's got a good partner. She's a winner. I think they'll work well together."
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Jones, who has a $1 million roster bonus due March 16 that the Ravens are expected to pick up, emphasized that he'll remain in good shape this offseason.
"I don't know how they're going to do his schedule, whether it will be in Los Angeles or Baltimore, because sometimes they travel to get their practice in," London-Jones said. "Jacoby has a very strong work ethic and his first priority is football. He'll be fine."