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5 things to know about new Panthers linebacker Josey Jewell

Josey Jewell

CHARLOTTE— A crown Jewell in the Queen City? The Panthers welcomed Josey Jewell last week, agreeing to terms with the veteran linebacker. Jewell spent the first six years of his career with the Denver Broncos. The Iowa native and product had an unassuming start to a career that has blossomed.

Get to know the Panthers newest linebacker better, with these five things to know.

His nickname is The Outlaw

In a move that would make Clint Eastwood proud, Jewell is known by the nickname, "The Outlaw." It's a nickname both teammates and fans use for Jewell, especially when he makes a big play. The moniker is a play off of the classic Eastwood movie, "The Outlaw Josey Wales." Jewell's Instagram bio even boasts a quote from the movie, "Dyin' ain't much of livin'."

The nickname, while a refernce to the movie, was also earned when Jewell was the middle linebacker in the Iowa 4-3 defensive scheme. He was a force to be reckoned with, patrolling the middle of the field and racking up tackles.

Clint Eastwood

A one-man band in high school

Jewell wasn't highly recruited coming out of high school, considered undersized and a tweener. Iowa took an early interest and stayed loyal through his whole recruitment, simply asking he put on weight for college. Despite Division I schools missing what Jewell offered until late, he did a bit of everything for his high school squad, and did it well.

As a senior, Jewell led his team in rushing, receiving, scoring, tackles, interceptions, interception yards and punt returns. He completed the only pass he attempted, intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles. He played all three phases of the ball, and was named MVP after leading his team to a state championship in 2012.

A Big Ten star

Jewell redshirted his freshman year at Iowa, the first time in his playing career he wasn't on the field. He used that time to bulk up and by the time he played his redshirt freshman year, he was ready to dominate. In his four years playing for the Hawkeyes, Jewell racked up 437 total tackles (28 for loss), 10 sacks, six interceptions, 26 passes defended, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.

He was a unanimous All-American, was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (for best college defensive player in the country) and named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Josey Jewell

Mile High success

Jewell was a fourth-round pick for the Broncos in the 2018 NFL draft, then injuries ahead of him on the depth chart pushed the rookie into early playing time. By the end of his rookie season, Jewell had 51 tackles and three passes defended.

But his best year came in 2022. That season, Jewell finished with 119 tackles, 2.5 sacks, four passes defended and two interceptions. The Broncos defensive coordinator that year? Current Panthers coordinator Ejiro Evero.

Through six years in Denver, Jewell accumulated 453 tackles (averaging 75.5 a season), nine sacks, seven fumble recoveries and two interceptions in his 78 game appearances.

Originally a farm boy

Jewell hails from Decorah, Iowa, a small town of less than 8,000 people. He grew up on a 1,100-acre turkey, cattle and crop farm, working it mornings and summers. Jewell's family still runs the farm, with flocks from 16,000 plus turkeys and up to 200 cows at a time. Jewell and his wife, Micole, along with their two young children, built a home in Iowa farmland recently, to stay close to family and the operation when the NFL allows.


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