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Seven Things We've Learned About JoJo McIntosh 


As players take their final breaks before training camp, we will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them, football and otherwise, so far.

Next up is undrafted Washington safety JoJo McIntosh:

1. McIntosh was a three-star recruit.

Before McIntosh starred at Washington and signed with the Redskins as an undrafted free agent, he was a three-star recruit coming out of Chaminade College Preparatory in California. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, he ranked 89th in the state and 896th in the country for the Class of 2014.

Still, several Pac-12 and Mountain West programs were interested, leading McIntosh to choose Washington over UCLA, Washington State and Boise State, among others.

2. He identifies strongly with his Cambodian heritage.

Before McIntosh earned his spot in college football and the NFL, his family escaped war-torn Cambodia for a better life.

McIntosh's mother, Sayom, told Adam Jude of The Seattle Times about the tough path her parents had in their journey for freedom.

According to the story, JoJo's grandmother had been sold to a wealthy family to pay off a debt her parents owed. She cooked and cleaned for that family while her husband — McIntosh's grandfather — served in the Cambodian army.

"Eventually," Sayom said, "my dad worked enough to pay off the debt to get her back."

In 1982, when Sayom was 5 years old, the family of 10 received a sponsorship to immigrate to the U.S. and primarily settled in Texas.

In an interview with the Pac-12 Network about Asian Heritage Month in May, McIntosh described what it is like to serve as a role model for young athletes back in Cambodia. Many of them interacted with the rookie NFL safety on Instagram to ask for advice.

"It means a lot to me," McIntosh said. "I follow all those little guys back and tell them to keep pushing, working hard, and represent. You'll get there."[KS3] 

3. He started all but one game during his final three seasons at Washington.

After redshirting as a freshman and playing in a reserve role in 2015, McIntosh was a mainstay in the Huskies' secondary over his final three collegiate seasons. He combined to start 40 games during that stretch, helping the team compile a 32-9 record and secure two Pac-12 championships.

For his career, McIntosh recorded 211 career tackles [126 solo], 2.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, 10 passes defended and three forced fumbles.

4. He won the Huskies' oldest and most prestigious award in 2018.

McIntosh capped his college career by winning the 111th-annual Guy Flaherty Award, given annually to the team's most-inspirational player as voted on by his teammates. McIntosh, a second-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2017, also took home the Tyee Sports Council Community Service Award.

5. He did not receive an invite to the NFL Combine.

Despite his sustained success at Washington, McIntosh was not invited to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the 2019 NFL Combine.

"I didn't even pay too much mind to it," McIntosh said with a shrug. "At the end of the day, I've got to come to pro day and perform. Combine or pro day, I've got to show up."

That's exactly what he did. Washington did not release 40-yard dash times from its Pro Day, but McIntosh did post a 36-inch vertical jump, which would have been tied for seventh-best among safeties at the NFL Combine.

6. McIntosh was one of 8 college free agents the Redskins signed days after the NFL Draft.

Despite going undrafted, McIntosh did not have to wait long before latching on with an NFL franchise. He was one of eight college free agents the Redskins signed April 30 and was the only defensive back of the group. Now he'll have a chance to fight for a roster spot when training camp begins in Richmond, Virginia, later this month.

7. He loves a wide variety of food.

Cooking is an outlet for McIntosh, who makes a wide variety of foods from several different cultures.

His Cambodian heritage offers a diverse set of options. "He loves his Cambodian food," his mother, Sayom, told The Seattle Times in 2017. "Anything that smells really bad he loves."

Some of his favorite Cambodian dishes include lemongrass chicken, fermented fish dipping sauce, and plenty of spicy food.

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