Patriots fans always thought that Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo — affectionately known as “Jimmy GQ” — were the closest things to models that they would ever see at the quarterback position. But now, they have an actual model leading their quarterback room.
That would be Mac Jones. No, we’re not kidding.
Jones may be better known as key representation for dad bods everywhere at this point in his young career, but in his even younger career, he was actually a child model. He recently spoke about that in an appearance on WEEI 93.7’s “Merloni & Fauria” when he was asked what his “worst job” ever was.
“I used to be a child model/actor, or whatever, and that was fun,” Jones said. “There are a few commercials out there you guys could try and find. I think a lot of people know.”
To his credit, Jones has been nothing but open about his modeling career. Still, it was news to quite a few people that weren’t familiar with his not-so-secret double life. It may be over now, but there are certainly lasting memories from his modeling career.
Mac Jones child model photos
Naturally, in wake of Jones’ revelation on “Merloni & Fauria,” many went searching for photos of Jones during his modeling days. They were easy enough to find.
NESN’s Dakota Randall dug up a couple of shots of Jones, one in which he’s wearing a tie and one in which he is carrying a tennis racket.
NFL reporter Dov Kleiman was able to find a handful of photos of Jones as well. He also found a clip of Jones participating in a fashion show from his youth.
One of Jones’ advertisements actually lives on. He’s still pictured on the “Adventure Landing” website, a regional theme park in Jacksonville, Fla. He appears on the “Kids Fun Center Parties” portion of the website, wearing an orange polo.
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How did Mac Jones become a child model?
As Jones explained in a pre-draft interview with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit, he tried modeling thanks to his parents.
“They never pushed me into sports, which was really cool,” Jones said. “So I tried modeling, acting. My sister had done it and there’s like a modeling camp and I was like, I’ll go try it.”
And so, Jones did. And while he said he “didn’t really ever want to do that long term,” he is grateful for the skills he picked up during that very early part of his career.
“It was good that I tried it and realize that I didn’t necessarily want to do that but have that under my belt. Even for stuff like this,” Jones said, referencing his interview and photoshoot ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. “You’re just more comfortable around the camera.”
Mac Jones commercials
Try as we might, we couldn’t find the commercials that Jones said might be out there. That said, if you’re inclined to search for them, ESPN’s Hallie Grossman gave some hints about where to look.
“[Jones] appeared in local commercials — for the zoo, a medical center, Party City, and that last one popped up for years around Halloween,” she wrote in a late-2020 profile of Jones.
The Party City rabbit hole is probably the best one to jump down, as their commercials are the most readily available. The only issue with sorting through them? Most of the kids are in costumes.
Was Mac Jones the kid in that Cam Newton commercial?
This is a popular question that was raised when Jones beat out Cam Newton for the starting job with the Patriots. Was Jones the kid from that commercial with Newton? You know, the NFL “Play 60” one, where the kid threatens to take Newton’s job from him in the future?
For those that need a refresher, here’s the video of the advertisement.
As ironic and, frankly, mind-blowing as it would have been for Jones to be that kid, he does not play the role of “Nate.” That commercial was created during the summer of 2012, ahead of Newton’s second season with the Panthers. Jones turned 14 in 2012, so he would have been too old for that role even if his modeling career was ongoing.
The role of Nate was played by a then-7-year-old named James DiGiacomo. Now 16, DiGiacomo, who has acted in commercials and TV shows, spoke about the commercial after it resurfaced following Newton’s release from the Patriots.
“I honestly think it’s awesome that people still bring it up,” DiGiacomo told The Eagle-Tribune. “I’ve done a lot of commercials over the years and did some TV work,” he said. “But that commercial with Cam is definitely a highlight. I didn’t realize how big it would be when we made it. But it was really cool. I’m very proud of it.”