ARLINGTON, Texas — Adjectives that come to mind upon first glance of Kendell Jones Jr.: Massive. Intimidating. Incredible. Unbelievable. Mean.
"Hulk," even, which is why the 4-star defensive tackle's nickname fits so well. At 6'5" and 361 pounds, there aren't many other nicknames better. He said he laughed when he first heard it come from the Texas Longhorns coaches.
But when Jones (first name pronounced ken-DELL) is on the football field, he's every adjective mentioned and more. It's all business. Hulk smash, if you will.
"When I get on that field," Jones said, and then he paused and shook his head.
Jones off the field, however, is business in a different way. He's the big kid, the gentle giant who likes to have fun with friends and is one of the first to defuse conflict. He loves dealing with confrontation in a professional manner.
So it shouldn't be a surprise to some that Jones, the stud lineman from Shoemaker High School in Killeen, Texas, has a major interest in pursuing a career in psychology upon graduation.
"I can see it," Jones said. "Talking to people, giving them motivation and one-on-one talks. ... I'm always doing it at school. Yeah, why not?"
For many others, though, it's just hard to see someone his size as a psychologist or counselor—and not something where he's using his brute strength, explosiveness and wow factor.
There are no rules against Jones being a stud defensive lineman and an equally talented psychologist, and he's looking to fulfill all of his dreams. For now, goal No. 1 is to graduate high school.
A close second, however, is to dominate the football field. Jones showcased his talent Sunday at The Opening Dallas regional, bullying his way through offensive linemen to not only earn the event's defensive lineman MVP but also earn an invitation to The Opening nationals this summer in Oregon.
"This is my first time [at The Opening regional], so it's cool to get invited to Oregon," Jones said. "I wanted to come out and compete like everyone else. There was a lot of competition."
Jones' father, Kendell Sr., watched his son shine at the regional. A former football player at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans, he wants his only son—and the second of four children—to aim for the stars with his goals.
Whether that involves playing in the NFL or being psychologist of the year doesn't matter.
"I'm taken back by everything," Kendell Sr. said. "To me, it's all coming full circle. I played football and didn't play in college. His granddad played and didn't go to college. With him, I want to make sure that's priority.
"In the next five or 10 years, I'd like to see him doing whatever he likes to do. If it's football, still in school or graduated, it doesn't matter to me. As long as he gets a degree of some sort, he's all right."
At 361 pounds, Kendell Jr. is extremely muscular and slim in the waist. His power alone makes him out to be a primary nose guard candidate for the right schools.
And there are several schools after him. Jones has reported offers from Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Michigan and Miami, but the interest for a player who bench presses 420 pounds, squats 600, deadlifts 610 and power cleans 335 is nationwide.
Jones' 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions favor Texas, with LSU and Baylor also in the hunt, but he'll be the first to admit that his "options are really wide open" when it comes to recruiting. So what's the first thing the nation's No. 60 player overall and the No. 11 defensive tackle looks for in a winning program?
"Good academics," he said. "That and good leadership."
Jones added that he wants to play for a football team that will persevere, particularly in the fourth quarter. He also wants to see immediate playing time and receive a lot of tutelage in the process.
A degree, he said, is evident. Postgraduate degrees are in his future, too.
"It'd be cool to have that doctor title before my name," he said.
To be huge in stature and within the psychology profession...why not?
Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand. Player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles