It makes perfect sense that not only should Barrett Jones and Manti Te'o get along, but become friends.
Two weeks ago, the athletes were traveling partners as they went—on the same flights—from New York City to Houston to Orlando for different end of the year award ceremonies. Jones, who is sporting a cast on his left foot after spraining it in the SEC Championship game, said that Te'o helped him carry his bags so he wouldn't have to struggle with his injury.
"I'll tell you what, Manti is a great guy," Jones said. "I didn't know how it'd be, to be honest. The first plane we were on together, my foot was obviously injured and I was limping around and I'm trying to carry my bag and he grabbed my bag and was like, ‘Here, let me get this for you.' I was like, ‘Manti, we're playing each other.'
"He is such a nice guy. I really enjoyed getting to know him. Obviously, that won't affect us at all when we play each other, but a guy that I look forward to probably keeping in touch with after we get done playing."
Jones and Te'o were both finalists for the Campbell Trophy, also known as the "Academic Heisman," which honors the nation's top scholar-athlete (Jones won) and the Lombardi Award, which honors the nation's best lineman (Te'o won). Jones also won the Rimington Award, while Te'o practically swept the College Football Awards, taking home the Lott, Nagurski, Butkus, Bednarik, Maxwell and Walter Camp Player of the Year honors, and came in second place in the Heisman Trophy voting.
In addition to their national awards, Jones and Te'o were both voted unanimous All-Americans and team captains.
Jones graduated over the weekend with a 4.0 and a Masters in Accountancy. "It was cool because when I came [to Alabama] I had a goal that I wanted to leave with a masters degree and I did that," he said. Te'o, also a senior, is expected to graduate with a degree in graphic design.
The two are selfless role models on and off the field, so it's no wonder they have become friends.
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