Jalen Reagor wasn't drafted in this year's NFL Draft. But not because he wasn't talented enough; he just simply was not eligible.
That will all change in a year's time.
Reagor could also very well become the highest-ever drafted Waxahachie graduate in 2020, according to two leading NFL Draft experts.
Reagor, a 2017 Waxahachie graduate, is a true sophomore wide receiver at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He was ineligible for the 2019 draft per rules set by the NCAA and NFL Players Association that require collegiate football players to wait three years following high school graduation to enter.
So why begin the hype some 360 days early?
Blame Dane Brugler, a nationally respected NFL draft expert and player evaluator for The Athletic. In his post-draft projection for 2020, Brugler pegged Reagor to go at No. 14 in next year's NFL Draft to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He based the draft order on current odds to win the Super Bowl.
Brugler noted the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Reagor "doesn't have ideal size" for a first-round wide receiver but "just makes plays."
"His speed is a difference-making trait, as he shifts gears to keep defenders off balance mid-route and hits his top speed to pull away from pursuit," Brugler wrote.
Ahead of Reagor, Brugler listed Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama), Chase Young (EDGE, Ohio State), Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon), AJ Epenesa (EDGE, Iowa), Grant Delpit (S, LSU), Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia), Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa), Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama), Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn), Walker Little (OT, Stanford), Travis Etienne (RB, Clemson), Laviska Shenault (WR, Colorado) and CJ Henderson (CB, Florida).
As it currently sits, Montae Reagor is oddly enough the highest-ever drafted Waxahachie graduate — he also happens to be Jalen's father.
The elder Reagor was selected in the second round (58th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech University.
Steve Howell, the current head softball coach for the Waxahachie Lady Indians, was selected in the fourth round (107th overall) by the Miami Dolphins in the 1979 NFL Draft.
Chuck Beatty is the only alumnus of Turner High School in Waxahachie to play in the NFL. The now-businessman and city council member was drafted in the 7th round (160th overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1969 NFL Draft.
Aldrick Robinson was selected out of SMU by the Washington Redskins in the 6th round (178th overall) of the 2011 draft.
But a draft position or being drafted at all is not the end-all-be-all NFL hopefuls or even Waxahachie High alumni.
Brian Waters, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, is easily the most successful Waxahachie graduate to play in the NFL. He went undrafted in 1999 following a collegiate career at the University of North Texas, which is also the alma mater of Beatty.
It was announced this past week that Waters would be inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Ring of Honor during the 2019 NFL season.
There was also Broderick Sargent who signed with St. Louis in 1986 as a free agent following a career at Baylor University and punter Buzz Sawyer who did the same out of Baylor in 1987.
Reagor finished his sophomore season at TCU with 72 receptions for 1,061 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He became just the third TCU receiver to break the 1,000-yard plateau in a single season, joining Josh Doctson (2014, 2015) and Reggie Harrell (2003).
Reagor had a stretch of 25 consecutive games with a reception and seven consecutive with a touchdown catch snap against California University in a Cheez-It Bowl win at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona in late December.
More recently, Reagor was forever memorialized inside Amon G. Carter Stadium with a plaque that recognizes his efforts to become the first wide receiver in TCU and Big 12 history to have a 100-yard rushing and 90-yard receiving game on the same day. The feat came in a 31-24 victory against Oklahoma State University on November 24, 2018.
"I came into college with one goal in mind and that was to separate myself and leave my mark at TCU," Reagor tweeted along with a photo of the plaque. "Having a plaque and having my name in the History books means the world too me, this has been one of my dreams since I picked up a football. All glory to God!"
Reagor was also voted by teammates as the MVP for the Horned Frogs following the 2019 season.
And it's not only Brugler who is high on Reagor. Pro Football Focus also lists him as a high first-round selection, grading the wide receiver out at a 79.8 and listing him fourth in the offensive "players to watch" ahead of the 2020 college football season.
"Give Reagor a legit quarterback and the TCU wideout would be on a lot more radars right now," the rating issued by PFF.com reads. "He combines elite speed (27 catches of 15-plus yards) with elusiveness (11 broken tackles on 71 catches) and physicality at the catch point (15-of-31 on contested catches). That last one is particularly impressive for a 5-foot-11, 195-pound wideout."