When Jordan Evans was in about fifth grade, he approached his dad about making the move from flag football to tackle.
“I made a deal with him that if he got up every morning before school and did his pushups and sit-ups, he could give it a try,” Scott Evans said. “My dad didn't let me start playing football until I entered sixth grade and I kind of held Jordan back for similar reasons. He was young and just not physically very mature.”
The approach paid off for Scott, who turned into a star defensive lineman at Edmond and then OU before being drafted in 1991 by the Cardinals.
Now, it's paying off for Jordan.
The younger Evans is leading Norman North into Friday's Class 6A quarterfinal game against Broken Arrow as the Timberwolves' defensive star at linebacker and also a potent offensive threat as a wildcat quarterback. He also returns kicks.
Jordan did the exercises; 150 and then 250 pushups a day just for the chance to play the sport.
“It taught him a lesson that there's a lot of work that goes into football six, seven, eight, nine months before you actually play in a game,” Scott said.
While Scott brought along Jordan through his early development as a player, Wade Standley and his staff at Norman North have pulled him even further.
That started with a position switch from cornerback not long after Standley arrived two years ago.
“I thought he looked like a linebacker,” Standley said. “He's just worked his tail off to make himself an outstanding football player.”
The admiration is mutual.
“He and the coaches that came in made us better, not just as a whole but each of us individually,” Jordan said.
From a distance, some of the resemblances between Scott and Jordan aren't clear.
Jordan plays linebacker, while Scott played on the line.
Jordan doesn't draw attention to who is dad is and Scott isn't much to draw attention to himself.
Also, Scott is white and Jordan is bi-racial.
“It's something, where if someone sees me from far away and they know who my dad is, they might not notice it but up close, it's pretty clear we look alike,” Jordan said.
Tenika Evans, Jordan's mother, sees the similarities in their personalities as well.
“Sometimes I tell him, ‘Scott, you need to use your name sometimes' but he's not like that,” Tenika said of her husband. “Jordan has picked up on that. A lot of people don't realize that Scott is Jordan's dad unless they've been around us.”
Of course, Tenika is right there as well as a big influence on her son.
“From a kid, she's taught me to be respectful and have manners,” Jordan said. “She's a nurturer. She always cares for me, loves me to death and is there for me. She's also very strong in her spirituality. I look up to her so much.
“I've just been truly blessed to have the parents I have.”
While many recruits list playing time, fit with coaches, facilities and campus life among their top criteria for choosing a college program, Jordan's priorities are a bit different.
He's juggling offers from Air Force, Arkansas State, Ohio and others with more figuring to join in the near future.
His family has laid out clear criteria to help Jordan decide. Church is at the top of the list.
Jordan said he can't feel comfortable playing in a place where he couldn't find a church home as inviting as Westside Church of Christ in Norman.
“That's the No. 1 factor,” Evans said. “I don't want to lose my soul to the game of football. I want to grow spiritually as I grow as a football player.”
That attitude, Scott and Tenika said, makes them more proud than the number of tackles or touchdowns he gets on Friday nights.
“We couldn't be happier with the young man he's becoming, athletics aside,” Scott said.