Jay, Colton, & Will Jumper
In the Jumper family, fall is football season. This family tree has produced three generations of football standouts, beginning with Red Bank great Jim Jumper. Jim’s son, Jay, and Jay’s two sons, Colton and Will, made names for themselves while playing at Baylor School, with Colton and Will later competing at the collegiate level at the University of Tennessee. While football has always provided its fair share of memories and fun, it’s the life lessons learned that have made the greatest impact on each of them.
Jay, what makes you proudest of Colton and Will when it comes to their football careers?
JJ: One of the most special things is seeing them play on the same team together, first at Baylor, and then at an SEC school. Not many dads get the chance to see their kids do that. I’m also proud of all the hard work Colton and Will put in through the years.
Colton and Will, how did your dad help instill a love of football in you?
CJ: It’s hard to think about football without thinking about my dad – the two are so intertwined.
WJ: Exactly. It was the glue of our father/son bond. Football was what we talked about when we got home from school. Seeing our dad’s passion for our development on the field made our progress feel that much more rewarding.
Are there any special memories surrounding football that come to mind?
JJ: When they were kids, we used to take Colton and Will up to Knoxville for UT games. We would wait around outside after the games, hoping that we could get some of the players to autograph their gear. Years later, it was Colton and Will signing the autographs. Even if they had a bad game, they were always gracious and took the time for their fans.
CJ: For me, it was the little things, like knowing your dad was going to be waiting for you in the locker room after a game, win or lose, to give you a hug. It really brought me back to center and reminded me that at the end of the day, it’s just a game.
What values has football impressed on each of you?
CJ: It taught me how to deal with failure, because once you’re playing at a certain level, you have a failure on almost every single play. There is always room for improvement.
WJ: I think about never giving up, despite physical disadvantages. You might not be the biggest, strongest, fastest guy on the team, but you can outwork someone else.
JJ: I agree – football really teaches you how to compete in life. In the workplace, you will always have competition, and there will arguably always be someone better equipped or trained than you. But that can’t be an excuse not to work your hardest.