BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – One of the ways Marvin Jones Jr. likes to express himself is through body art, and his newest tattoo has significant meaning to him.
Jones visited Frost City Tattoo in Utah this offseason, which is owned by renowned tattoo artist Fred Frost. Frost City employs Haloti Ngata's younger brother, Vili, who did the tattoo work on Jones.
"I went to Haloti's brother. He works at Frost City Tattoos in Utah and the owner is Fred Frost and he's like one of the best," Jones said. "If you want a tribal tattoo, you go to him.
"He made that connection and I went there. He basically two weeks before sent me a mock up and I was like, 'that's the one."
Frost City specializes in tattoos with motifs found in tribal art. Their work typically tells the genealogy of the person they are given to, with common themes of family, God and community service.
"It's a native American tribal tattoo," Jones said of his latest expression of art. "My great grandma was full American Indian Cherokee and I always wanted something, a kind of tribal thing. I saw a few tats on the internet and was like, 'let me see some back of the neck tats.' This is what I was never going to do, but I did it.
"He (Ngata) got like a West African motif art as well as Native American pottery textile art and warrior art.
"The significance is the wings represent elevation, freedom and speed. It applies to what I do on the field and it applies to me in life as well. Always going up or climbing that ladder.
"Everything else represents the three services of my heritage in general. Family, God, community – the village. It has a whole bunch of stuff in there."
Jones says he's been digging into his family heritage over the past couple years, wanting to know exactly where his family is from.
"I'm really getting deep down into that and it's ongoing," he said.
On the football field, Jones is coming off the best year of his career. He led the Lions with 1,101 receiving yards this season, and his nine receiving touchdowns were tied for the fourth most in the league.
Jones says he's still in rest and recovery mode for another three weeks or so before he begins to work out and prepare for the offseason training program.