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UC Bearcats nose tackle surprises teammates with not-so-hidden talent

Walnut Hills alum Jowon Briggs is a husband, father and trained singer
Jowon Briggs practicing
Jowon Briggs celebrating a sack against Houston
Posted at 6:30 PM, Sep 01, 2022

CINCINNATI — Coming off of a historic season, the University of Cincinnati had a record number of players drafted to the NFL this year. The turnover gives new players, such as nose tackle Jowon Briggs, an opportunity to make a big impact this season.

At 330 pounds, Briggs' teammates said he is the strongest player on the team. The Walnut Hills alum's physical strength harmonizes with his leadership.

“I take a lot of pride in being able to lead by example," Briggs said.

Not only is he leading the way for his fellow Bearcats, Briggs is also a leader in his household.

“He has two kids, he’s 20 years old and he as a wife — a full family man," said Malik Vonn, a Fairfield High School alum and fellow defensive lineman. "It’s actually crazy to look at."

“They always look at me like I’m some sort of old man or some sort of uncle type guy, but I’m not really the much older than y’all,” Briggs said.

Briggs said he leads his biological family and his Bearcats family in the same style.

“I’m not the one that will bark at you,” Brigg said.

He has more important uses for his voice.

"All of my sisters, my family, they are all into the musical side of things,” Briggs said. "We’ve all sang, acted, danced."

His teammates had no idea.

“We were in the locker room ... he was humming and we were like, 'Who is making that noise?” Vann said.

Briggs stopped, but said because Vann's locker is right next to his, his not-so-secret talent was exposed.

“This man is 330, looks like that and can sing, like legitimately can really sing,” Vann said. "Don’t limit yourself to just one area, you’re (not) just a football player."

Singing and tackling have their similarities.

“You’ll get the applause, the lights looking at you, eyes staring at you,” Briggs said.

Even the untrained ear can hear the difference between the sound of music and football.

“When you are up there performing, there is silence while you’re performing,” Briggs said.

A night at Nippert Stadium hits a higher decibel. Briggs prefers a quieter audience.

“The silence makes things a bit more exciting, but the noise makes it easier to focus, funnily enough,” Briggs said.

For Briggs, focus does not mean being one-track-minded.

“While you can focus on one thing, you can focus on football, you can focus on basketball, you can focus on school," Briggs said. "I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t reach out in other veins of life and try different things."

Briggs makes it cool to hit the quarterback and the melody.

He and the Bearcats open up their season Saturday against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville.