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Son of a Sooner: Jordan Evans’ long trip to OU

COMMENTARY — The son of former Oklahoma standout Scott Evans was a late bloomer, but on signing day, he will follow his father’s footsteps and become a Sooner.

BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: January 27, 2013
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/articleid/3749640/1/pictures/1937788">Photo - A portrait of Jordan Evans, wearing his dad's jersey from his playing days at the University of Oklahoma.  The photo was taken when Jordan was three years old and it hangs in the office of Jordan's dad, former OU football player Scott Evans.  The framed photo was given to Scott and to his dad as a gift. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
A portrait of Jordan Evans, wearing his dad's jersey from his playing days at the University of Oklahoma. The photo was taken when Jordan was three years old and it hangs in the office of Jordan's dad, former OU football player Scott Evans. The framed photo was given to Scott and to his dad as a gift. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

But there are other ways that father and son are not alike.

***

Bi-racial families are common these days. But the Evanses go counter to convention. Black wife, white husband.

“I’ve got the best of both worlds,” Jordan said.

Scott and Tenika met at OU. Tenika was dating another Sooner, linebacker Frank Blevins. When Scott returned to school after leaving the NFL, he reconnected with Tenika.

“I liked Scott because he knew what he wanted,” Tenika said. “He was smart and intelligent. He stood up for what was right.”

They were married on Jordan’s first birthday — “We did things backward,” Tenika said — and now also have daughters Jacie, 12, and Jessika, 11.

Scott says he never cared what people thought. “You meet who you meet,” he said. “I’ve been blessed. She’s a good woman, a great wife.”

What’s it like to grow up in a bi-racial family? What’s it like to not? “Seems normal,” Jordan said.

Said Scott, “We live in Norman. We’re not driving through Tupelo, Miss. We wouldn’t take a family vacation to southeastern Arkansas. I understand there are people out there. But you gotta live your life. We don’t have any problems.”

***

Jordan Evans’ addition to the Sooner roster won’t excite the recruiting groupies. Before OU offered a scholarship, Evans’ list of potential schools included New Mexico, Ohio, Memphis, Nevada-Las Vegas, Louisiana-Lafayette and Colorado State.

“A late bloomer, no matter where you’re at, they get missed early,” Scott Evans said.

Jordan was a smallish eighth grader. But he grew about six inches in six months and entered high school almost 6 feet tall.

Jordan still was skinny as a Norman North sophomore. But he started maturing, getting stronger, and after North beat Lawton in the 6A playoffs in November 2011, Scott had a talk with his son.

“I told him, you can play Division I college football,” Scott said. “It took me awhile to see that. It’s going to take college coaches awhile to see that.

“Recruiting is about fits. If they need linebackers, they recruit linebackers. If they don’t, they don’t. He knew going into the year what he was going to have to do on the field.”

Jordan’s senior season, he became a big-play phenom, both defensively and with his kick returns — he returned five for touchdowns. After North’s 49-42 victory over Owasso in the 6A semifinals, OU linebacker coach Tim Kish offered a scholarship.

Jordan attended the Bedlam game on Nov. 24 and was swept up in the atmosphere of OU’s wild 51-48 victory. He went in the Sooners’ postgame locker room and decided his dad’s alma mater was for him.

“I could see the guys had fun,” Jordan said. “I said, ‘This could be me.’”

And so it will be. This son of a Sooner, different in some ways from his father, indeed is following the tradition.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.


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