JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A Jackson State football player made history as the first in the university’s history to be named a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.
21-year-old Jordan Jefferson is the SGA president, in the Honors College, is a McNair scholar, plays receiver on the football team, and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
“Wake up around 6:30 or 7:00, because I have breakfast check for football. I go to class, come to the SGA office, do some SGA stuff, go to class, have lunch, then I have football practice. After football practice, go get dinner,” said Jefferson. “I try to do something for myself like 30 minutes to an hour. So I play spades, talk to people. Then I do my homework, take care of something like apply for an application, might be studying for the LSAT. Then I stay up to about 1 or 2 in the morning and start over again.”
With discipline like that, it’s no surprise that Jefferson would go after the distinguished Rhodes Scholarship.
“Who influenced me to apply for the scholarship is Myron Rolle. He was a Florida State football player. My mom told me, I saw him on ESPN when I was in third grade. He won the Rhodes Scholarship. My mom was like oh that’s awesome, you can do something like that! I didn’t even know what it was,” explained Jefferson.
The International Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest and most competitive fellowship in the world. Each year, only 32 students earn the scholar title. Very few students come from historically black colleges and universities(HBCUs).
“I have a great team of people that work with me, and I have people that believe in what I want to do,” said Jefferson.
The Jackson native and Callaway High School graduate is a political science major, with aspirations of law school. Jefferson is the son of a former Jackson State football coach and a professional dancer. He has performed at Carnegie Hall and studied abroad in South Africa.
“”So all these things in my life have really intertwined with my household and really developed me to who I am and what I want to be, and what I want to do for the city,” said Jefferson. “Because I’ve had these awesome experiences. But I don’t feel like I’m fulfilling my purpose if I don’t give these opportunities and experiences to people like me who don’t have the same opportunities.”
Jefferson tweeted on Saturday that he was not selected as a Rhodes Scholar.