FAYETTEVILLE, Ar. (KNWA/KFTA) – Arkansas freshman running back James Jointer grew up playing football in Little Rock with his little brother Jalen.
“I mean every time we got the chance we either outside playing football in our backyard or either round the corner at our friends house playing football in their front yard. It was always football we would be out there sun up to the pole light came on type of football we used to be there all day,” Jalen said.
Of course, growing up in Arkansas meant James had dreams of playing for the Razorbacks.
“He always said he wanted to play for the Razorbacks so he actually found a team with the Hogs in it, he played for the Wild Hogs right around the corner from us,” Jalen said.
It was on that team where his mom realized he had something special.
“When he was playing in little league, when he was playing with the Wild Hogs, I could see it. Cause James always wanted the ball, always wanted the ball. That’s one thing his coach talked about, they had to give James the ball cause he wanted to run it, if they didn’t give James the ball, he was not happy. He was not happy,” Landa Burns, James’ mom said.
For Jalen, he saw his brother’s potential further down the road.
“It had to be the eighth grade game championship, it was 0-0, 30 seconds left. He broke for 90 yards and won the game,” Jalen said.
It wasn’t a surprise when James started getting offers from multiple DI schools, but it was the Razorbacks who stood out from the pack.
A decision his mom was very happy about, but he didn’t tell her about it until announcing his commitment to the Hogs.
“We came home we played it smooth. I’m in the backseat with my mom, jacket zipped up knowing I have my Arkansas shirt on, she’s mad, oh he didn’t, and ready to cry almost. Getting to see my mom’s reaction was the best part about it,” Jalen said.
James’ mom actually wasn’t a huge Arkansas fan before her son committed, but you would have no idea now after stepping into her Hog Heaven home.
“When he told me he was going to the Razorbacks, I cam home immediately changed everything into Razorbacks, I even went to his room,” Burns said.
You painted your kitchen table red right?
“Yes, to go along with the Razorbacks.”
The weekends will be busy for the Jointer family, going to Jalen’s games on Friday night and then heading to Fayetteville on Saturday to see James play.
Even though it will be a busy time for James, his brother knows he will still support him from afar.
“When I get out from the game, I’m gonna have that message you should have did this or you could have did this better, good job, I’m gonna get that message from him, he’ll probably be watching on YouTube off of his TV but I know he’ll be watching Friday nights,” Jalen said.
Who knows? The Jointer brothers could be reunited on the field soon, if Jalen gets a chance to play for the Razorbacks.
If that happens, their family might just go full Hog.