Gameday+ | Meet a Buckeye: Joshua Jackson-Ketchup, men's soccer

Ray Stein The Columbus Dispatch
Joshua Jackson-Ketchup decided to go with blond hair recently because he admires New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. [Brooke LaValley/Dispatch]

Joshua Jackson-Ketchup

Sport: Men’s soccer

Age: 19

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Margate, Fla. (Montverde Academy)

Major: Communications, but I may switch to marketing

Question: So, where do you think we should start this discussion, the pros and cons of a 4-4-2 formation or surnames that also are condiments?

Answer: Well, I’m a soccer head, so starting with soccer talk isn’t bad. One of the pros of playing a 4-4-2 is that it’s versatile. But one of the cons is that it allows easier penetration if everyone doesn’t stay focused and disciplined. Moving on to condimental surnames, I used to be hesitant to going by the name Ketchup. But as I got older I realized I didn’t want to be like everybody else so I owned up to it and chose to stand out.

Q: In all seriousness, what is the origin of that name?

A: Ketchup is the family name, originating in Georgia. It’s unusual, but the family is proud of the name and I do my best give it a good reputation.

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Q: Among your three names, how do most friends and family address you — Joshua, Jackson or Ketchup?

A: I mainly go by Ketchup with friends but my family likes to call me Joshy to keep my youthful status. Even though I’m a sophomore in college, they’re trying to hold on to their baby boy.

Q: Based on your Twitter account name — J.J. Ketchup, followed by an emoji of a tomato — you are comfortable with your name. Has that always been the case?

A: At first I wanted to keep it low key because I knew I was going to receive teasing but I decided to own up to it and stand out from the rest. The tomato emoji helps depict that I am really associated with the condiment and that I’m proud to rep all the tomatoes out there.

Q: Speaking of you and Twitter, I see a lot of people dancing on your feed. Please expain.

A: Ever since I was young I loved to dance and dancing has always been a huge way of expression for me. I love all kinds of dancing.

Q: Are you the featured dancer on any of those videos?

A: I have a video on there of me doing the “Billy Bounce,” a dance created by @YouFunnyB. The video reached 30,000 views so that was sweet to see. It made me want to dance even more.

Q: Be honest: Are you the best dancer on the soccer team?

A: I think it’s close between me and a couple guys like Xavier Kennedy and Jack Holland, but I think I’m ahead by a nose hair.

Q: A quick roster search reveals two changes from last year to this year. First, you changed uniform numbers, from No. 9 to 10. Why?

A: I wanted to take on the challenge of the so-called “No. 10 curse,” where the pressure of changing to 10 makes someome play with less quality. I’m looking forward to see what the team and I can accomplish.

Q: Second, you, uh, changed your hair color to blond. What was the thinking behind this move?

A: I changed to blond because I value New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham’s style. When I first changed my color I hadn’t seen anyone with this exact style, but as time has passed I have seen more individuals changing their color as well. So I like to think I was starting a trend in central Ohio. #noodlehead

Q: Obviously, you are a young man unafraid to show some personality. Where does that come from?

A: I was always an outgoing kid and I wanted to stay that way as I grew up. I love interacting with others and knowing more people as I get older. My family instilled a lot of self-confidence in me and they encouraged me to be unique and never be a follower.

Q: Are you the biggest character in your family? If not, who is?

A: My grandmother is, by far, the most animated and biggest character in the family. She is always the life of the party and has a great sense of humor. If it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be as outgoing and open about everything.

Q: What other sports interest you — to follow as well as play?

A: I love watching and playing basketball but I really enjoy all sports because each one is special in their own way.

Q: I seem to recall a lot of NBA on your Twitter feed; you have a favorite NBA team?

A: Since I am a native of Miami, the Heat is my favorite. They’ve had so much talent over the years and seeing them win three titles was amazing.

Q: What about a favorite NBA player?

A: Russell Westbrook, mainly because of the heart and fearlessness he plays with. He is a real inspiration to youth because it shows that all things can be accomplished if you put your mind to it and work for what you want.

Q: And regarding your favorite soccer player, are you going to be like the 99 percent and say Cristiano Ronaldo, or are you a 1 percenter?

A: I am definitely a bigger Neymar fan, primarily because of the flair he plays with. Not many players aren’t as expressive on the field as Neymar. And his size and mine, we are almost identical. This gives me motivation that playing professional can really become a reality if I truly work for it.

Q: I know as a native Floridian that you’re a 305 guy; how have you managed the 614 lifestyle?

A: The 305 is always awake and never sleeping but the 614 is not too far off, especially since we are on a college campus it’s usually lively and partying. I enjoy the Columbus lifestyle; the people are welcoming and that’s always a positive.

Q: What do you miss most about Miami?

A: The main thing I miss are the Spanish restaurants. On every corner there is some type of Latin cuisine and I wish Columbus had more Spanish options.

Q: Last thing: I saw some video of you in bright yellow shoes. Should I even ask if there’s a correlation with your name?

A: The yellow shoes go with the name because a lot of people like to mess with me and call me Mustard, or ask Where’s mustard or Who’s my mustard? So I decided to whip out the mustard on my feet.