Joe Horn has had a roller coaster ride of emotions in recent weeks. First, his son Jaycee was drafted by the Carolina Panthers during the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Next, his other son, Joe Horn Jr., was scheduled to graduate from LSU. Finally, Joe Horn Sr.’s cousin and fellow former player, Derrick Horn, passed away at the age of 43. Amidst all of this, the former NFL receiver, who played for the New Orleans Saints from 1999-2006, was trying to keep his emotions in check.
Joe Horn, the father of former West Virginia safety Jaycee Horn, is “disappointed” in the lack of coverage his son’s selection in the first round of Thursday night’s NFL Draft has received, Horn told The State on Friday. “It’s very clear that Jaycee is a first-round talent, and for it not to be a bigger deal that a kid from West Virginia went in the first round is kind of disappointing,” said Horn, who played at West Virginia from 1989-92. “Nobody’s showing any interest in it. I don’t understand it.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Joe Horn was disappointed Friday morning, not as a former Pro Bowl receiver who was fined for hiding a cell phone in a goalpost, but as a parent of one of 32 players selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Horn wanted the world to see the joy his son Jaycee Horn felt when the Carolina Panthers selected him as their first defenseman Thursday night.
Instead, he watched as TV stations and other publications focused on the fact that quarterback Aaron Rodgers wants to leave Green Bay, and the five quarterbacks selected in the top 15.
Let me tell you, I’m a big Aaron Rodgers fan, Horn told ESPN. But last night, when I saw that he wasn’t happy at Green Bay….. when I saw that they weren’t talking about my son at all, I was a little upset and disappointed.
When I woke up this morning, I expected everyone to say: Look, nobody thought Jaycee Horn would make the top ten. No one expected him to be the defense’s first player. I thought it would get some more attention, but it didn’t. It was very disappointing for me as a father.
Initially, Horn was angry enough to call Rodgers selfish for saying on selection day that he did not want to return to Green Bay. But after learning that Rodgers was merely the subject of an article by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and that he took no public action to spoil draft night, he confessed: I was too hasty.
Still, Horn was disappointed that his son and the other players selected in the first round were not celebrated as he would have liked.
Horn laughed and added that Jaycee didn’t even know he was upset.
I’ve never let my emotions guide my thoughts, but this morning, after all this time, the fatherly instinct, the love, came out in me, Horn said by phone as he drove to Charlotte to attend his son’s solemn presentation. I’m really glad he’s happy with the Panthers.
Jace also laughed at the whole thing and said later Friday that his dad asked him if he watched ESPN.
I said: No, I didn’t have time, Jaycee said after arriving at Bank of America Stadium for her first press conference. I’m sure he was watching and it probably upset him a bit.
He’s just a father being a father. My dad doesn’t say much. If that’s how he feels, then so be it. I’m just ready to play football.
Jaycee was picked once before Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtein II, another second-generation NFL player, because they shook up the first round by taking a number of offensive players at tight end. Surtain is the son of Patrick Surtain Sr, who made three Pro Bowl appearances as a defender with the Miami Dolphins.
The New Orleans Saints tried to get the 28th pick. They chose to trade one of their two best corners, but couldn’t agree. Dallas dropped two spots from 10th place, with Horn and Surtain leading the way.
That didn’t get much attention Thursday night either.
I understand they didn’t expect [Jaycee] to be selected first [among the defensive players], Horn said of how the draft went, contrary to the opinion of many analysts that the top nine players would be offensive. I understand it makes them look bad, but it’s just frustrating. ”
Horn looked nothing like the great NFL player who celebrated a touchdown in a primetime game against New Orleans in 2003 by making a phone call he hid before the game. He looked like a father who wants his son to have the same coverage as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who became No. 1 in Jacksonville.
Jacey didn’t say a word, Horn. He’s happy to have been selected, but I sat there and listened to the different opinions and now we’re not even talking about him because he was wrongly selected.
I say they don’t even show him partying.
Some analysts said the Panthers should have taken the quarterback with the No. 8 pick to compete with Sam Darnold, the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft who was recently acquired in a trade with the New York Jets.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Alabama quarterback Mack Jones were still on the No. 8 prospect list, but the Panthers chose Horn because he fills a need at the cutoff cornerback position. This will allow defensive coordinator Phil Snow to play more man-to-man in critical situations.
Another factor is that Jaycee learned from his father, who played with the same acumen the Panthers see in his son.
He’s a rare physical specimen with a hard-to-find pedigree, Panthers coach Matt Rhule said.
Horn doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that his son and Surtan are so well regarded. He said they both saw a plan to succeed in the NFL.
The third second-generation player expected to be selected in the second or third round tonight is Florida State cornerback Asante Samuel Jr, the son of four-time Pro Bowl winner and two-time Super Bowl champion.
You have to understand that when you’re raising a son and he knows you were a good player in the NFL, a son always wants to surpass his father, Horn said. That’s it. And that brings up another aspect of training for their minds and bodies.
The downside is that the former NFL player thinks more like a father on draft night.
It was hard to stay behind, Horn said. Everyone has their own opinion, but I wanted to respond because I know what it is.
Last night was Jaycee’s night.
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