Jalen Reagor, the Waxahachie Indians junior wide receiver, committed to Texas Tech University late Thursday evening after considering Texas A&M, Baylor and Purdue universities and the University of Houston, choosing to follow in the the footsteps of his father Montae, a former AP First Team All-American for the Red Raiders.
“After a long talk with parents, family and God, I’ve decided to commit to Texas Tech University,” Jalen said via Twitter, finishing the statement with the university’s familiar “Guns Up” catch phrase.
The four-star receiver’s 64 catches, 1,108 yards and 13 touchdowns lead all district 14-5A receivers and placed him as the fifth best receiver in Texas’ 5A conference. Jalen’s also the 42nd best receiver in the nation, as rated by Yahoo Sports’ Rivals, and the 13th best receiver in the state, per scout.com rankings.
“It’s a father’s dream to have his son follow in his footsteps and go to a college I paved the way at,” Montae said. “He’s earned everything, though. I’m filled with joy and truly grateful for his attitude, poise and focus.”
Montae said he didn’t know if his son would eventually follow him to Jones Stadium, where Jalen followed him around on game day as a child. But Montae knew his son’s love for the game of football and his passion for sports were second-to-none.
Despite playing on different sides of the ball, Jalen will look to replicate the collegiate career of his father, who was a unanimous All Big 12 First Team selection, Lombardi Award semifinalist and a Football News Defensive Player of the Year Finalist in 1998 after setting school records for career tackles for loss (47) and sacks (24.5).
If Jalen signs with the Red Raiders in two months, his additions could make TTU’s receiving corps one of the most explosive in the Big 12 conference and NCAA.
TTU’s third and fifth best pass catchers, wide receiver Ian Sadler and running back Justin Stockton, gained 551 and 341 yards, respectively, as sophomores and their combined nine touchdowns accounted for 26 percent of the Red Raiders offensive production this season.
Both, as well as sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes II, are scheduled to enter their senior year when Jalen potentially bursts onto the scene in 2017.
Mahomes II, a converted safety from Whitehouse, broke the Big 12 freshmen record for yards and touchdowns in a game during TTU’s 48-46 loss to Baylor University in 2014. He threw for 4,283 yards, and 32 touchdowns this season, posting 400-yard performances against Baylor, Oklahoma State and Iowa State universities.
Stats, projections and possibilities aside, becoming a Red Raider is more than a chance to make good on his talent, it’s a way to honor the hard work and sacrifices Jalen’s parents made the give him to opportunity to succeed – in any aspect of life.
“I feel like it’s the right choice for me. My father was a Red Raider and my mother was a Red Raider,” Jalen said. “I want to continue the legacy my parents started.”