Former Elkins star's journey leads him to NFL draft

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Jonathan Giles' NFL dreams started at an early age.

"I remember riding around in the car with my dad. One day I told him, 'I want to play football, dad,'" said Giles.

His journey has been filled with plenty of ups and downs, but never any quit.

"When I say it wasn't easy, it wasn't easy at all. It took a lot of hard work, grinding, dedication," he said.

Giles hit the radar of ABC13 sports producer Joe Gleason when Giles was the starting quarterback at Elkins. His talent on the field was clear.

The stats and records, as impressive as they are, say one thing, but they don't tell the whole story.

"That's where I learned my character - being a good person - was at Elkins with Coach Dennis Brantley. That's all he ever preached, classroom, being a good person and handle your business," Giles told ABC13.

He took that foundation to Texas Tech where then-head coach Kliff Kingsbury moved him to receiver, catching passes from Patrick Mahomes. Giles transferred after the 2016 season to LSU with Joe Burrow as his quarterback.

He finished his college career at a place he's called home for a very long time.

"I grew up at TSU. My dad worked there for 21 years as the video coordinator. He'd be up there from 8 to 5. I'd be up there from 8 to 5, running around at 6 years old," Giles said.

Giles has taken his mindset of having a hard work ethic with him into the classroom, already earning his undergraduate and master's degrees.

"My mom and dad have been harping on grades since I started school. My mom has always been hard on me. Some nights, I'd be up till 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning and have to be back up at 6 for workouts. I want to be a high school coach or athletic director," he explained.

Now it's back to the grind. Giles is coming off the first-ever HBCU combine and working at Armed Sports in Humble for TSU's Pro Day and the NFL Draft in late April.

"I just want an opportunity. I've always believed if I get an opportunity, I can get the job done," he said. "It's unbelievable I'm talking to you right now with my dreams right there."

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