Ben Jones once handed dreads to Murray

April, 29, 2014
Apr 29
1:48
PM ET
Here's a tip. If ever in your travels, you come across a person who knows or has known Houston Texans guard Ben Jones, make sure to ask him or her this question: What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen Ben Jones do?

Jones
Jones
In my preparations for interviewing former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray this morning, I reviewed his 2013 season, best and worst games, his injury history and what Jadeveon Clowney said about him. But I forgot the one little factoid that would provide the most hilarity: Jones was his center.

"Oh, so you know about him being weird," Murray said, with a grin, then he pondered. "Oh God. His pregame rituals, he walks around the entire field with no shoes on. He doesn't care if it's cold, if it's raining, there could be mud out there."

He still does that, though the weather's usually perfect at his home stadium.

"He'll eat anything," Murray continued. "If you dare him to eat like a cockroach or a random bug that's in the locker room, he'll pick it up and eat it."

There's a YouTube clip of him eating a cockroach.

"Is there?," Murray said. "He doesn't care. It's disgusting."

The word disgusting lit a bulb in Murray's memory.

"The Auburn game, I think it was my freshman year, he came up in the huddle and handed me three pieces of, like, dreads," Murray said. "He ripped off the middle linebacker's dreads from Auburn. He handed it to me, I'm like, 'What do you want me to do with these?' We're in the middle of the huddle, I'm trying to call plays, 'Aaron, I've got some dreads for you.'

"He stuck it in his pants. Then he went home, he tied them to a ceiling fan so you have to pull the dreads to turn the fan on. So that's probably the most disgusting thing."

It wasn't Murray's first introduction to Jones' oddball style. The two are very close. They had dinner almost every night during Jones' senior year, Murray said, and Murray plans to go to Jones' wedding this summer.

I noted that Jones is a smart guy, despite the fact he acts like that.

"Oh my God, he does; but he is very smart," Murray said. "He's a country boy from the middle of nowhere Alabama."

Can Murray understand his thick accent? Some of Jones' current teammates can't.

"Yes. I can," Murray said. "My roommate Arthur Lynch is from Boston. When Arthur first got there, they would almost fight each other because they wouldn't understand a single word each other was saying. Ben's saying y'all, Arthur's saying yous, it was just clash, clash, clash, clash, clash."

Murray, who is the SEC's all-time leader in passing yards, met with the Texans at the combine and Senior Bowl. He'll probably be a middle-round type of player. He and Jones joke about the prospect of playing on the same team again, but I'd bet the Texans take a quarterback sooner.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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