Jamon Dumas-Johnson: Why this future Bulldog will play so hard for his family
Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry offers DawgNation a good look into the type of person the Bulldogs are getting in recent 4-star LB commitment Jamon Dumas-Johnson of Maryland.
When Jamon Dumas-Johnson committed to Georgia earlier this month, his family threw a big party. Naturally.
They all had two very big occasions to celebrate.
For starters, that event had almost two months of buildup. That’s because Dumas-Johnson committed silently to Georgia way back on May 16.
For him, it was just the right time.
But then he picked an even better time to release that decision to the world. He chose July 8 because it was his late father’s birthday. Jimmie Dumas had been a central figure in his son’s life.
Dumas-Johnson wanted to make his commitment on his father’s birthday to honor him. And he did just that.
Check out the tribute commitment video embedded below.
— 𝐉𝐀𝐌𝐎𝐍 𝐃𝐉 (@Only1Jamon) July 8, 2020
“Rest in peace, pops,” Dumas-Johnson says in that clip. “You are the reason why I go so hard. This is for you.”
Jamon Dumas-Johnson: His brother’s keeper
Dumas-Johnson envisions himself as the type of ‘backer who one day will play like a cross between a Luke Kuechly and a Bobby Wagner. He’ll be that all-around LB like a Kuechly and pair it with the closing speed Wagner is known for.
He will look like a linebacker who has a magnet in his face shield for the football. But then arrives like a heat-seeking missile.
“My favorite linebacker and people know this about me, is Luke Kuechly,” he said. “People know why. He’s big and yet he’s smart. Kuechly knew the play before he play even stars. … Kuechly, man. He left the game so soon.”
The future business major wants to live a life that pays tribute to his family. Those ones who came before him. And yet he also wants to set an example for the younger ones still to come.
He is the second-youngest of seven brothers. His twin, Javon, is the youngest by 19 minutes. His oldest brother is 33 years old. Dumas-Johnson is 18 and will turn 19 this fall.
“I do all of this for my Dad and my family,” he said. “We’ve been through a lot.”
“It seems like me and my brother are the only last hope to make things right after all of this time we’ve been struggling,” Dumas-Johnson said. “Dealing with a lot of pain and struggle. That’s my why. When I think about them and I look back at our life I think about my family. Me and my six brothers.”
He’s bigger than Javon. Jamon is about 6-foot-1 on the height chart and weighs 230 or so. It makes him about three or four inches taller than Javon.
Javon also plays outside linebacker for St. Frances Academy, too.
“We’re similar in every part of our games,” he said. “I’m just much bigger than him.”
His youngest brother is also a 2021 prospect.
“He’s getting looks but he has no offers yet,” Jamon Dumas-Johnson said. “But God has got something in store for him, too. I just told him to be patient.”
But the way Jamon looks at it, he is already committed to Georgia, too.
“I told him ‘Just know that if I make it, then we make it’ with this recruiting and college football stuff.”
So are his other six brothers, too. When he says that, he’s not talking about them showing their support by wearing the same gear and cheering for him on Saturdays.
It is something different here within his immediate family. They are all their brother’s keepers.
“We are all our brother’s keepers,” Jamon Dumas-Johnson said. “We all snuggled at the same time. It is just that someone in the family has got an opportunity to change all of that. I am going to be the one to change that.”
Jamon Dumas-Johnson: Dreams of his father
He’s known to friends and teammates as “Pop” or even “Twin.” That is akin to a big “pop” he laid on some poor running back in the “A” gap.
It is just coincidental to the fact he speaks so warmly and thankfully for his dearly departed father.
It was why July 8 was so special to him. He didn’t even know was going to do that until he knew he was going to UGA.
“Knowing that it was his birthday and all I wanted was to attribute that special day to him,” Dumas-Johnson said. “Since I was seven playing football my Dad was always at the games. No matter who far away it was. He always used to be up in the stands.”
When Jimmie Dumas got to see his son play, Jamon was the one scoring the touchdowns. Not preventing them. At that time, he was a ballcarrier and a playmaker. Like almost all the brothers in the family.
All but one of the Dumas-Johnson brothers played football. Javon, his time, turned out to be the first defensive player. He was a defensive tackle growing up.
“When I used to score all I would do was look up into the stands for him,” Dumas-Johnson said of his father. “But now everything has changed. I’ve moved over to defense now. He’s not in the stands anymore. So when I look up at him now, I look up into the sky. I don’t do it during the games now.”
“I look up at the sky to see him sometimes now.”
That will be during pregame while warming up. Or right after a big play. He will also write “RIP Pops” on his cleats, too. There is another special tribute he does. That will be left just between him and his Dad.
“I don’t want to say it,” Dumas-Johnson said. “It is a little embarrassing. It goes all the way back to when I was a kid and was six or seven years old.”
He articulates the different feelings now.
“When I was seven I used to score and he would say it,” he said. “But now that I am on defense a tackle is like a touchdown. So when I make a tackle, I would assume he would now be in the stands saying something to me. But he’s not. He’s not in the stands anymore. He’s up in heaven looking down on me.”
His father passed away due to what he described as an illness. It was back in 2016 when he was in the eighth grade.
“He was sick,” Dumas-Johnson said.
His father used to get on him with all the little coaching tips. Switch the ball from one hand to the other at just the proper moments. There were a lot of things he would always drill into him.
“He used to get on to me about being on defense because I didn’t use to like being on defense,” Dumas-Johnson said of his father. “I guess that is was drew me into loving defense so much now. He always loved defense. That’s the sad part here about losing him. The time I turned to defense in high school, it is the time he is not here with us anymore.”
He wears No. 6. It can be said that’s because he is the sixth-oldest brother out of seven kids, but that’s not necessarily the reason why he wears that number. But it fits now.
Jamon Dumas-Johnson: The path to being a Bulldog
There are those that think that Georgia hasn’t adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic recruiting. Not like other schools have.
Well, those folks need to listen to Dumas-Johnson.
His road to UGA was made possible because of those wi-fi conversations.
“It all started for me with those Zoom calls,” he said. “Those virtual meetings. I get on there with a couple of Georgia coaches and I felt like I was on campus when I was at home. That was a big thing for me. If I could feel the energy and feel the love from home. Then imagine if I was really there. It would then feel ten times better.”
“Then the way people and alumni from Georgia always say that it is like family there. You can always come back home and like ‘once a ‘Dawg, then always a ‘Dawg’ and that really stuck with me. Not a lot of colleges and the people at those colleges say something like that.”
Dumas-Johnson plans to enroll early at Georgia in January of 2021. When he talks about Georgia inside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann, it sounds like the two are old friends.
“Coach ‘Schu’ and I have a really good relationship,” Dumas-Johnson said. “The main point about Georgia with me is family,” he said. “They have got your back.”
Here’s the part which will really get to most. He has yet to visit Georgia. At all.
“It was just the things that everyone at Georgia said and kept saying,” Dumas-Johnson said. “Not only one guy. But not only from the head coach to the director of the recruiting programs and their recruiting people. The coaches. They all said the same thing, but they said it in different ways.”
“As I said, they made me feel at home when I was in front of a camera,” he said. “If they can do that from a camera, imagine what they can do if I am already there.”
Florida was the last school he visited before the quarantine. That was on March 7. He was supposed to visit UGA on March 14, but that never happened.
“That was upsetting,” he said. “I was about to visit Georgia and corona said ‘Nah not this time’ to me.”
He’ll always remember his “Commit to the G” moment
Schumann and Dumas-Johnson were just talking one night.
“I was getting emotional because I had something on my mind,” Dumas-Johnson said. “That was because I was about to commit to a college. I had always dreamed of playing college ball at a young age and going to the pros.”
They were just talking about all of that stuff.
“That’s when ‘Schu’ just said I would be more proud when you become a ‘Dawg someday,” Dumas-Johnson said. “So then I said ‘well that day is today because coach I want to be a ‘Dawg’ and then you know we just took it from there.”
He’ll never forget what the inside linebackers coach looked like then over FaceTime.
“Probably one of the biggest smiles on his face ever,” Dumas-Johnson said.
He would like to take all five of his officials once they are allowed to happen again.
“You still want to sit back and relax and take those experiences and enjoy those experiences,” he said. “I’ve got my commitment out of the way. I feel at home there, but I still want to experience those other places now. Those were the things I was supposed to experience during the quarantine but never got the chance to.”
He did say he had a dream school growing up. That was LSU.
“I listened to all the things every other university had said,” he said. “But they didn’t say anything to me and anything that appealed to me like Georgia said.”
The path he’s on now sets a new example in his family
It has taken a village in Maryland to raise up this future Bulldog. His father is now gone and other members of his family have moved on or moved away.
They all came back together on July 8 to celebrate Jimmie’s birthday and his son’s commitment.
“It feels good to make them proud,” he said. “They are all growing up and moving on. Not because they want to but they have to in order to move on with their lives. But they can turn around and see that their little brother has his head on straight and is now on a good path and is doing things with his life that can make them all proud.”
“I’m going to keep doing what I have got to do as a young man to be a role model to my nephews and nieces and cousins and friends. Everything that I have been through I have tried to keep my head high. I didn’t turn down the wrong path with my life. I kept my life in God’s hands and that’s the way I am still going.”
What does he think his father would have said if he’d been around to see his commitment day?
“I think he would have probably said he is proud of me,” he said. “Out of everything I went through. We didn’t have a lot of things while we were growing up. But I stuck my head in there and worked and made a big turnaround in high school being on the honor roll this last year.”
“He would’ve said he never had that in high school and that he was proud of me on that very big day. He would’ve said that he’s glad that I am choosing to go where I want to go and not where everyone or anyone else might want me to go. He would finish it up by congratulating me that I am going to be the first one in my family to go to college.”
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