Alabama football's Mac Jones is a pretty unassuming personality. You wouldn't think his nickname "The Joker" would fit.
The emerging Crimson Tide star explained where it came from during an appearance on SEC Network's Marty & McGee. He says that Richie Petitbon, a former Alabama offensive lineman who finished his career at Illinois, gave him the nickname a few years ago because of his loud, full-mouthed laugh.
“I guess my buddy Richie, he used to play offensive line here, he just gave me that nickname my freshman year and then it kind of just spread throughout the team mostly just because I just laugh with my mouth open kind of like the Joker,” Jones said.
“I have like a loud laugh or whatever. I guess that’s what it comes from and it kind of just stuck."
There is more to it than that, if Petitbon is to be believed. Jones has more Joker-like mannerisms that led to the nickname.
From a 2019 article in The Crimson White:
“He was doing his classic weird movements, moving his head and smiling, dancing around and giggling and laughing,” Petitbon said. “I was like, ‘Man, this guy looks and moves just like the Joker.’ Right when I said it, everybody was like, ‘Oh my god, he looks just like him.’”
As Jones has emerged as a big-time starting quarterback, taking over for the injured Alabama football star Tua Tagovailoa last year, "The Joker" has caught on even more. With how he's started the season, that may even be to a Heisman Trophy ceremony and NFL Draft consideration.
Through five games, Mac Jones has been one of the best players in all of college football, completing 78.8 percent of his throws, for 1,905 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. He's currently throwing for an incredible 381 yards per game, and has topped 400 yards three times already.
The Joker is back in action on Saturday night against Mississippi State at 7 p.m. ET.