While Indiana linebacker Reakwon Jones has played well on the field, the Florida native has been enduring some trying times stuck in Indiana while his family has been at home, braving the storm that was Hurrican Michael. With severely limited phone service, Jones was only able to check in every few hours to see how things were going.
Jones says that he called his stepdad while the storm hit, and “When I was on the phone, I guess a tree had fallen on the house. I heard everyone scream. It broke my heart because I couldn’t be there. I had to hear them go through stuff like that.”
IU head coach Tom Allen has stated that Jones has been able to play through this distraction, but the emotional toll it has taken on him is evident. Jones stated that the storm pretty much took everything from his family.
The city is reeling, and both his mother and fathers houses were destroyed. Jones claimed that he still hasn’t heard much from his father due to lack of cell service in the area and acknowledges that between looting and overall civil unrest, times are tough down there.
Reakwon’s mother, stepfather, and siblings have all relocated to Alabama temporarily staying with family and were able to drive up for Indiana’s home game against Penn State. Jones was emotional in stating that it was a blessing to be able to see them after so long and after everything they had been through, and has even gone to the extent of working with coaches and the school’s compliance department to get an NCAA-approved GoFundMe campaign going to raise money to help his family get back on their feet.