2019-06-25 sp-emigcolumn Reagan

Bixby’s Jordan Reagan, rated a three-star prospect by national recruiting services, really likes

Tim Duffie, the OSU cornerbacks coach who led his recruitment. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World

Jordan Reagan sits on a bench on his Bixby High School campus, leaning back comfortably, legs crossed, informing me that if he wasn’t giving an interview on this breezy Sunday afternoon he might be sleeping.

“That or hanging out with friends,” he says in a tone as tranquil as his pose. “Going to get sno-cones or something.”

Here we imagine Reagan is a fairly typical 18-year-old dude. He values his time, his buddies, a snack and some rest. He wears an earring and a clutter of friendship bracelets.

Another band on his left wrist, though, gives him away. It’s white with orange print that says “Let’s Ride.” It’s from Oklahoma State, the school Reagan committed to last week.

“I feel really good about it,” Reagan says of his pledge to join the Cowboys after one more season at Bixby. “I was waiting for the time to be right. It seemed to be right.”

Reagan, rated a three-star prospect by national recruiting services, really likes Tim Duffie, the OSU cornerbacks coach who led his recruitment. He appreciates the “mellow, relaxed” vibe he gets from Mike Gundy. He looks forward to reuniting with Bryce Bray and Brendon Evers, Bixby alumni on Gundy’s roster.

He looks forward to making his own mark.

Reagan starts for one of the state’s most successful high school programs. He is headed to one of college football’s most buzzworthy college programs. He’ll play defensive back in college football’s pass-happiest conference.

This is an atypical opportunity for such a young man. It is comforting to learn Reagan has very real potential to meet it, for he is an atypical talent.

Reagan is swift enough to place third in the 400 meters at last spring’s state track meet, and to anchor Bixby’s sprint relays. With a 6-foot-2 frame, he is big enough to play man coverage on Bixby’s corner.

He is athletic enough to do anything he sets his mind to.

Reagan has already told me he played baseball, soccer and basketball as a kid. Now as I tell him how much I admire his braids of blond-tipped hair, he tells me he once had a mohawk because his grandpa thought it might help intimidate opposing wrestlers.

Oh. You wrestled, too?

“I used to. Third and fourth grade, I think,” he says. “I was pretty good. I got second in nationals twice.”

Right. Nationals...

Wait... NATIONALS?

“Yep,” Jerad Reagan, Jordan’s uncle, confirms during a phone conversation. “Jordan has always been great at athletics. I started with him, as far as coaching, when he was in second grade. He lived in Morris at the time. One game he had six touchdowns and chased a kid down from 25 yards behind to make a tackle.

“I was decent enough to walk on at OSU (in the late 2000s). But I wasn’t the same athlete he was. I saw so much potential.”

Reagan tapped into that promise after the family moved to Bixby before fifth grade. He continued to develop in a bigger system, continued to train with his uncle and others, and worked his way through Bixby’s program until becoming a starter on the Spartans’ 2018 state championship winner. He did quite well last fall.

Now, the feeling is, he will excel.

“I was kind of raw last year,” Reagan says. “Now I’m more refined.”

“He’s triggering on balls. He’s recognizing routes quicker,” Bixby coach Loren Montgomery reported. “He’s playing with a ton of confidence.”

That was obvious at the 7-on-7 tournament the Spartans hosted over last weekend.

“Union was there, Broken Arrow, Owasso, Booker T., Bishop Kelley...” Reagan said. “Our team won overall. I had a few interceptions and a lot of knockdowns.”

Bixby alum and Denver Broncos All-Pro Chris Harris addressed the Spartans after the tournament.

“He said to keep working hard, that he sees more players with potential coming out of Bixby,” Reagan said, “and that we just have to represent.”

So it’s on through summer, into the 2019 high school season and then off to OSU.

Reagan might like that nap, that sno-cone or that video game with his friends. He might like to be ordinary now and then.

He has extraordinary potential, though, and plays a game that is ideal for his skill. Football gives him an extraordinary opportunity, as Harris puts it, to represent.

Reagan is fine with that.

“I’ll put in the work and see where it takes me,” he says. “Anything could happen.”


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Guerin Emig

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guerin.emig@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @GuerinEmig

 

 

Sports Columnist

Proud father of Gretchen and Holden. Devoted husband to Christy, who has been my best friend since biology class at Booker T. Washington. I covered the Oklahoma Sooners for 15 years. That was both challenging and rewarding. Now I get to write columns.