"It’s funny because I’ve been in the league six years and there’s still people who don’t know I can sing," Jones told ESPN

By Christina Dugan
March 07, 2018 11:15 AM

American Idol welcomes musical talent from all walks of life — including professional football players.

Marvin Jones Jr. took time away from his duties as a Detroit Lions wide receiver during a bye week to head to Nashville and audition in front of Idol judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

“It was just a good opportunity,” he told ESPN. “Usually, it’s funny because I’ve been in the league six years and there’s still people who don’t know I can sing. I’ve never really put myself out there like that, just when people were nagging me to do it.”

“Just a change,” Jones, 27, added. “Just something I thought it would be a cool experience before I get too old.”

Though Jones wouldn’t reveal which tune he sang for the dynamic trio, he did admit that when it comes to singing, it’s nothing new.

“It’s something I’ve been doing since I’ve been very, very young,” Jones said.

RELATED: Luke Bryan on Challenges of Judging American Idol: ‘It’s Out of My Comfort Zone to Pick People Apart’

When he’s not catching footballs and making touchdowns on the field, Jones is spending most of his free time recording in his music studio at home.

“Sometimes if I do go, I’ll be down there for a long time,” he said. “I’ll do some stuff and I’ll look up and it’s like 11 o’clock. I’m like, ‘Dang, I’ve been here for six hours.’ There’s times I don’t go down there for three weeks. But just the luxury of going down there whenever I want to, I do it.”

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, Ryan Seacrest and Luke Bryan
Eric Liebowitz/ABC

During an interview with Good Morning America in October, the judges — who Perry dubbed “the dream team” — opened up about working together on American Idol and revealed how they’ll go about finding new talent during the audition process.

“There’s still talent out there to be discovered,” said Perry. “There are still stars and diamonds in the rough and I think the great American Dream — we can revive that in a way and show people that if they have the talent, if they work really hard… maybe we can give them a little platform to just shine.”

Added Richie, “It’s amazing the confidence this new generation has, and I think what’s really wonderful for us is that we get to see it — and if any way, try to tweak it just a little bit. They don’t need much, but I’m telling you what’s coming down the pipeline is really exciting.”

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry and Luke Bryan
David Livingston/Getty

Auditions kicked off in August in Portland, Oregon, with the show traveling to 23 cities. This year, fans also have the opportunity to audition online or through social media by using #TheNextIdol hashtag.

American Idol premieres March 11 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.