Saturday afternoon was a rollercoaster ride experience for Norman native Jordan Evans as the four year force on OU’s defense waited to be drafted.
After some naps and calls from unknown area codes Evans had one other close call before the Cincinnati Bengals made his NFL dreams come true drafting him in the sixth round.
“They said Jordan … Willis,” Evans said. “Man when they said, Jordan I swear my heart sunk. I was like, wait. What? Then it made sense. I finally got a call from the head coach and he said, ‘we put your name in you’re about to be a Bengal.’” I was just so happy and grateful. As soon as he hung up I definitely celebrated, ran around the house a couple times and jumped up and down. It’s just a dream come true.”
Before he raced into end zones and then a Sooner scholarship Evans almost quit football for basketball, but returned to the gridiron for a surprising switch in positions.
“I was like whoa, hey my name is Jordan,” Evans said. “I played corner last year I’m not a linebacker. He was like, ‘no go with the linebackers.’ So I was like, oh he just wasted me. They were doing like a hitting drill that first day, and they hit me so hard that first day. I was like, man linebacker is not for me. So obviously he had a plan and it worked out.”
The son of a Sooners star then arrived at OU with a D minus grade and a lot to prove.
“I felt like that whole entire ride is what put a chip on my shoulder,” Evans said. “It’s got me to where I’m at today, and I’m definitely blessed and thankful for what I’ve been able to learn in my career.”
Through out Jordan’s journey he’s always had home close and family closer, and in some cases maybe his father was too close.
“I remember one time, I think it was sophomore year, he like took my keys away and grounded me,” Evans said. “I was like, wait I’m in college. I can still get grounded in college, but it’s been great.”
If there was a perfect place for Evans it’s Cincinnati.
His father Scott’s from there, his grandfather played football and basketball at Xavier and leading up to the draft he trained there too.
“I feel like it was just right for Cincinnati to go ahead and draft me,” Evans said. “Even though I’ve only lived there for two months for training it’s almost like it’s a second home to me. I’m definitely fully acquainted, so it should be an easy and smooth transition for me.”
A familiar face awaits Evans in Cincinnati this Thursday with the Bengals.
Jordan and Joe already know each other well.
“He was a guy I competed with every day,” Evans said. “We did one on ones or tackling drills Joe wanted me to go against him, and I wanted to go against Joe. At Bengals practice with him it’s going to be the same thing. We’re both competitive guys. At the same time that’s a brother, and that’s going to be my brother for life.”
Evans says he feels he’s always been just missed out on, but that’s what has made him who he is today.
“It’s pushed me,” Evans said. “It’s made me work so hard. When I was out there training I swear it’s some of the hardest I’ve ever worked to get where I was at. I was told I was going to be a free agent, and I didn’t want to be a free agent. I wanted to be drafted."