Oklahoma State football: Jordan Brailford savors signing day with the grandfather who saved him

OSU SIGNING DAY — Meet the grandfather who supported Jordan Brailford's journey from Tulsa Washington to Oklahoma State.
by Gina Mizell Published: February 5, 2014

TULSA — Jordan Brailford had forgotten his shoes.

Shoes he needed for an AAU basketball tournament in Oklahoma City as a seventh-grader.

Naturally, Brailford's grandfather, Nathaniel Brailford, Sr., saved the day.

“He went all the way back to Tulsa,” Jordan recalled Wednesday, just after the Tulsa Washington product signed to play football at Oklahoma State. “He got my shoes, came back, gave them to me and then paid to get back in the game.”

Signing Day provides a special moment for families to celebrate all the hard work and sacrifice — along with the memories and joy — that have helped an athlete reach the collegiate level.

And Nathaniel has certainly been special part of Jordan's journey.

“I just put him through a lot,” Jordan said. “I know he's real glad I'm signing today. I know he's proud of me, and I love him for everything he's done for me.

“It makes me feel good, because I know not a lot of people have the support that he's given me and I thank God for him.”

While Jordan was raised by Robin Daniels, a single mother, Nathaniel was often the one picking his grandson up from school and driving him around to practice.

Nathaniel quickly became a figure that teammates and families knew, because he always hung around to watch the whole workout. Whether it was hot. Or cold. Or football. Or hoops.

Why?

“Just a grandfather's connection with his child,” he said.

Added Daniels: “I can't thank him enough. I'm so grateful to have him as a member of our family.”

It's worth noting that Nathaniel is Jordan's paternal grandfather, not Daniels' father. Jordan assured that his father has been in his life, though added he's “getting back on his feet” following some recent personal troubles that Jordan preferred to keep private.

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by Gina Mizell
OSU Sports Reporter
Gina Mizell joined The Oklahoman in August of 2011 as the Oklahoma State beat writer, where she covered the Cowboys' historic run to the Big 12 championship and Fiesta Bowl in her first season on the job. Before arriving in Stillwater, Gina was...
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