NFL draft picks with ties to North Texas heard their names called early and often. The Detroit Lions selected former South Grand Prairie High School and Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah third overall.
“I’m beyond eager to get there and learn about the city and the organization to just soak it all in,” Okudah told DetroitLions.com.
But before Okudah took his talents to the NFL, he was a frequent star on NBC 5’s Wingstop Inside High School Sports show, once named defensive player of the year.
“I’m ready to do whatever I can do for the team,” Okudah told NBC 5 in December of 2016. “It’s bigger than me. I’m a team guy. I’m okay with whatever as long as we’re getting the win.”
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Former Waxahachie High School wide receiver Jalen Reagor was also featured often on NBC 5, before he went on to star at TCU. Reagor was selected 21st overall in the draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, a rival of his hometown Dallas Cowboys.
“It was a sigh of relief,” Reagor told PhiladelphiaEagles.com. “I’m going to a home. I’m going to Philly. You think about all you go through. It all comes down to that one call and that one team. It’s Philly and I’m glad to be an Eagle.”
And sticking with the wide receiver theme, former DeSoto wideout Laviska Shenault once led the Eagles to their only Texas high school football state title before he went on to dominate at Colorado. Shenault was taken 42nd overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars and gave a little insight into what draft night was like in his home.
“It was chill until my mom did something crazy,” Shenault told JacksonvilleJaguars.com. “I don’t even know what it was. Everyone else was pretty chill. It was good moment though.”
It was an exciting weekend for North Texas natives, as the home of the best high school football in America was once again well-represented in an NFL Draft.