Justin Jefferson’s Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Justin Jefferson

Getty Justin Jefferson

Justin Jefferson, born on June 16, 1999, was raised in St. Rose, Louisiana. The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver grew up in a family of athletes. His parents are John and Elaine Jefferson and the NFL star is the youngest of three boys.

Here’s what you need to know about Justin Jefferson’s family:

1. Justin Jefferson’s Parents, John & Elaine Jefferson, Were Both Talented Basketball Players

It’s perhaps no surprise that Jefferson became such a talented athlete as both his parents were as well. His father, John Jefferson, played college basketball for Nebraska Western before transferring after two years to the University of Louisiana Monroe, then known as Northeast Louisiana, according to Jefferson’s LSU Athletics profile.

Both Jefferson’s mother and father attended Slidell High School, and his mother Elaine Jefferson attended Northeast Louisiana afterward. She was also a basketball star in high school and the NFL star’s father shared that his son’s height comes from his mother’s side of the family. He shared with The Advocate that Elaine Jefferson and her sisters are all close to 6 feet.

Since both John and Elaine Jefferson played basketball, they were sure their children would end up playing the sport as well, but all three of their sons ended up putting football first. “It wasn’t something we pushed,” John Jefferson told the publication. “As a kid they just had the natural gift to play [football].”

Even after their playing days, the couple remained very competitive in everything they did, and one of their sons, Rickey Jefferson, said he struggled to win at basketball. “I didn’t beat my dad in basketball till I was 19, and we’re talking about a dude who had a hip replacement,” he told ESPN. “He was ultra-competitive, and he might have called that foul late in the game that he wouldn’t have called earlier.”

2. John & Elaine Jefferson Wanted to Keep Their Jobs After Justin Jefferson Was Drafted & They Taught Him Humility

John Jefferson worked as an industrial supply salesman while Elaine worked as an administrator in the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office. Even after Jefferson was drafted by the Vikings in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the couple decided to keep working to get their pensions. “I want to get my 30 years,” John Jefferson told the Star Tribune in December 2022. “That’s something I’ve earned, and I’ve worked for.”

Jerry Sullivan, who became Jefferson’s mentor and receiver coach, told ESPN, “A lot of families look at [their son getting drafted] like their ship has come in. John and Elaine have just rejoiced in the fact that he’s making it. Justin bought his mom a car and she cried. She didn’t ask for it.”

In December 2020, Jefferson bought his mother a car as a surprise present and shared a video on Instagram of the moment he surprised her with it. “I wanted to give you something big,” he told her. “And this is for all the things that you have done for me. I wanted to give back to you. And look to your right.”

In fact, Jefferson’s parents taught him the importance of humility and it was a lesson that stuck. “My parents preached to be humble and just take what you’ve been given,” he told the Star Tribune. “And God definitely has given me a great opportunity to have this gift of mine and also have my platform to spread my joy and love of the game on and off the field. All of the things coming my way are definitely God’s blessing.”

They taught their son that no matter how many awards, accolades or honors he received, to always remain grateful and grounded, he shared with the Vikings.

3. Justin Jefferson’s Brothers Are Jordan & Rickey Jefferson & They Both Played College Football at LSU

Jefferson grew up the youngest of three boys, and there was quite an age difference between them too. The oldest Jefferson boy, Jordan Jefferson, was born on August 25, 1990, and is nine years older than the NFL star while the middle child, Rickey Jefferson, was born on December 28, 1994, and is five years older than the youngest Jefferson.

When Jefferson committed to Louisiana State University (LSU), he became the third brother to play at the school. Jordan Jefferson played quarterback from 2008 to 2011 while Rickey Jefferson played safety from 2013 to 2016.

In 2016, when Jefferson was still playing football at Destrehan High School in Louisiana, he said he was trying to keep comparisons to his older brothers out of his mind and ignore people that referred to him as “Jordan Jefferson’s brother.”

“I don’t try to think about it like that,” he told Fox8. “Most people might say, put it on my head you’re a Jefferson, you might go to LSU. I don’t think about it like that, I just want to be me. I’m Justin Jefferson, not Jordan’s little brother. I don’t really think about all that.”

Jordan Jefferson now works as the co-founder of NOLA HOTBOY$ alongside his youngest brother and is also its athletic director. His bio on the organization’s website states that he began coaching in 2014 and worked at Destrehan High School, the University of Houston and Colorado State University. NOLA HOTBOY$ “is a 7v7 program that guarantees high school athletes the exposure and knowledge needed to be D1 ready,” its website says.

An ESPN feature from December 2022 reported that Jordan Jefferson lives in Minneapolis with his youngest brother while Rickey Jefferson “runs much of the business side.”

4. Justin Jefferson & His Brothers Played Football Together for Hours & He Looked Up to Them

Jefferson was very influenced by his brothers growing up, both in athletics and overall. “He’s well-grounded,” Vikings receivers coach Keenan McCardell told the Star Tribune in 2022. “He respects his older brothers like they’re his parents. It just shows you what kind of atmosphere he had growing up.”

In the empty lot next to their house, the three boys would often play football or basketball, and sometimes their father would join in too, while their mother would sit in a chair and watch them. “We all talk trash,” Jordan Jefferson told ESPN of the family’s competitiveness. “Our dad probably talks the most trash, so that’s probably where Justin gets it.”

Jefferson’s father laughed recalling how much his youngest son looked up to his brothers and wanted to play at their level despite the big age difference. “He’d sit on the bench thinking he was on the team,” he shared with the Advocate. Instead of dismissing him, his older brothers made sure he’d always feel involved.

5. Justin Jefferson’s Family Is Close Knit & Very Supportive of the NFL Star

The Jefferson family is undoubtedly a tight-knit one, with Sullivan claiming that the wide receiver “likes ball, and he likes being around his family,” he told ESPN. His older brothers are keen to look after their youngest brother and foster and protect his talent.

The three of them all understand that they’re stronger as a unit and have all contributed to each other’s success. “We all played a significant role in the development of the others,” Rickey Jefferson told the publication. “Jordan was good, and then there were whispers, ‘You know, Rickey’s going to be good, too,’ and then with Justin people said, ‘He might be the best of them all.'”

“As a family, we’re more of an empire than an entourage, and ain’t nobody jealous about nobody,” he continued. “I’m sorry to have to say it like that, but I get passionate. The bond we have? You can’t break that. Other people shining doesn’t dim our light.”

While the three boys were ultra-competitive growing up, there was never any negative rivalry between them, Rickey Jefferson insisted. “Our parents, they raised us that way, man,” he told the Star Tribune. “When I see Justin out there, I see myself out there. He’s his own person at the same time. But like, as family, he has our name. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him.”

Jefferson thanked his family for their support in his speech after he was named the 2022 Offensive Player of the Year during the NFL Honors ceremony. “I’ve got to thank my parents, John and Elaine Jefferson,” he said. “Y’all made me into the man I am today. I appreciate y’all so much. My brothers, Jordan and Rickey, y’all made me into who I am. Y’all were so hard on me; all the countless times I cried at home, y’all were the reason that I’m tough. I appreciate y’all. More to come, more to come.”

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