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Rutgers Leadership Academy

BRANDON JONES

Senior Football GPA: 3.291

You have been a key contributor on both defense and special teams this year, what has been the key to your success?

Experience and hard work are two areas that I try use towards my benefit on the field. My teammates and I have put a tremendous amount of time and effort into feeling very confident and prepared on game-day. When you are confident and know your assignment, you will play great.

What do you love most about football?

I love the competitive nature football brings day in and day out. I love flying around and playing aggressive; not many sports provide that outlet. It also teaches many life lessons not just on the field, but off the field as well.

Who is your favorite NFL team and player, why?

No question the Philadelphia Eagles because I grew up 15 minutes outside of Philadelphia. My favorite player is Charles Woodson because he is a pro’s pro and has a nack for getting the ball.

As a senior, how important is it to you to excel in the classroom and improve on your 3.291 cumulative GPA?

It’s very important to be successful not only on the field but in the classroom. I realize that I won’t be able to play football forever and it’s extremely important to maximize the opportunity I got and get a good education.

What are you currently studying at Rutgers?

Labor relations and Employment relations

What would you like to do once you graduate from Rutgers?

Play in the NFL for as long as I can and then eventually go to culinary school to become a chef. A long term goal would be to open my own restaurant.

JONELLE FILIGNO:

Junior Women’s Soccer GPA: 3.313

You have already scored nine goals and have accumulated 20 points this season; what can you say contributed to the early success this season?

Well first off, my teammates and coaches have played the biggest role in both my early success and there teams early success. My teammates have given me all the opportunities to find the back of the net. The Olympic Games this past summer have allowed to me to have a ton of self-confidence. I worked very hard the last 9 months to get myself back from injury and back on the field. Getting off to a fast start was one of my goals going into the season. We are not where we need to be just yet, but we are a tough young team that is continuing to learn and progress.

How was your experience playing for team Canada in the 2012 Olympics this summer?

My experience this past summer was a dream come true. I dreamt of the opportunity as a child growing up and for it to actually come true is indescribable. It was a long journey for me starting back in March, but well worth it after medaling at the Olympics. Winning an Olympic medal is something that every athlete works for. Coming back from injury this past winter, my expectations were to try my best in making the national team, not knowing if I would be ready in time. After getting my strength and confidence back sooner than expected, I ended up earning a starting spot. With our success throughout the tournament we surprised a lot of people, especially after winning the Bronze medal, and that is what is most rewarding.

What are you studying at Rutgers?

Sports Management

What has been your favorite class thus far?

Sports Labor Relations

If you had to choose a different sport to play other than soccer, what would it be and why?

I would love to play beach volleyball. I watched it throughout the Olympics and I think it would be fun.