By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
The NFL dream came true for 2017 Waxahachie graduate Jalen Reagor on Thursday when the Philadelphia Eagles selected the TCU product with the 21st overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The selection by the Eagles kept the Reagor name in the family, too.
Reagor officially declared for the NFL draft on Dec. 2, 2019. He is just 17 hours short of obtaining his bachelor’s degree at Texas Christian University, which he plans to complete.
Reagor noted at that time of the announcement that his dream to play in the NFL began at the age of eight. It was then that he watched his father, Montae Reagor, help the Indianapolis Colts win Super Bowl XLI in 2007.
“I knew I wanted to play in the NFL and win a championship,” Reagor stated in his pre-draft announcement.
Just hours before the draft and via text, Montae, a 1996 Waxahachie High School graduate, listed Philadelphia as one of four teams that he thought Jalen could land with by night’s end.
“I’m anxious, happy and nervous all at the same time,” he added.
Pops was right.
Montae ended his nine-year NFL career by appearing in seven games with the Eagles in 2007. Jalen will now start his professional journey in Philly green.
For anyone who has logged off the world wide web over the past month-plus: The 2020 NFL Draft was not held as planned in the fountains of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. It was as virtual as virtual gets.
Reagor was one of the few draftees selected by the powers at-be to be featured on the solely-online broadcast.
According to the Sports Video Group, the NFL deployed more than 200 iPhone 11 production kits to 58 soon-to-be drafted players plus all 32 NFL head coaches, 32 general managers, eight owners and six college coaches.
Those kits came with an iPhone 11 with external boom microphone and tripod, Bose QuietComfort 20 noise-canceling headphones, and lighting kit. Prospects were “asked to get in touch with their internet provider to try and increase their bandwidth,” the article noted.
According to Pro Football Focus, the 58 draftees were also issued a memo from the NFL league offices with 15 draft-day restrictions.
Those restrictions included:
1. Third-party logos other than those of NFL Official Licensed Partners; Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and New Era.
2. Disparaging depictions of the NFL, or any other third-party brands.
3. Non-NFL sports organizations or leagues.
4. Racial, religious, or ethnic slurs.
5. Explicit language.
6. Obscene, pornographic (or escort services), violent (including firearms or other weapons), or sexual imagery.
7. Libel or hate speech.
8. Political statements.
9. References to alcohol (including beer and wine), drugs (including cannabis), and/or gambling products (including poker).
10. Tobacco products (including e-cigarettes).
11. Reference to any illicit substances or activities.
12. Pharmaceuticals (including OTD products) including restorative and/or enhancement products.
Before kickoff of the 2019 college football season, both ProFootball Focus and Dane Brugler, an NFL Draft expert and player evaluator for The Athletic, pegged the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Reagor as a potential mid-round first-round draft pick.
Both outlets pointed to Reagor’s elite speed and ability to “make plays” as to why he should be considered midway through the first round.
We now know their preseason assessment was off a bit — but not much. And there is no doubt the continued quarterback carousel affected his production and draft stock.
Reagor lined up outside of seven different quarterbacks over his three-year TCU career — Kenny Hill, Grayson Muehlstein, Shawn Robinson, Justin Rogers Alex Delton, Michael Collins and Max Duggan.
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler did, however, note in October that the inconsistent quarterback play was “unfortunate, but it won’t hurt him come draft time.”
Reagor ultimately capped his three-year TCU tenure with a highlight-reel 70-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Frogs’ season-finale against West Virginia
The punt return for a touchdown was his second of the season, making him the first Horned Frog since Jeremy Kerley in 2009 to reach the feat. Many NFL scouts and draft insiders have pointed to Reagor’s ability in the return game as a way for the rookie to see playing time on day one.
Reagor ended his junior season with 43 catches for 611 yards and five touchdowns — a far cry from the 72 receptions for 1,061 yards and nine touchdowns he recorded one season prior. The reception and yardage totals were both second-best in TCU history.
During that sophomore campaign, Reagor became just the third TCU wide receiver to break the 1,000-yard plateau in a single season (Josh Doctson, 2014; Reggie Harrell, 2003).
Reagor, at one time, had a stretch of 25 consecutive games with a reception and seven consecutive with a touchdown reception. He even became the first wide receiver in Big 12 history to record a 100-yard rushing, 90-yard receiving game on the same day (vs Oklahoma State on Nov. 24, 2018).
WAXAHACHIE IN THE NFL
With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selection of Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs at No. 13 Thursday, Richard Chapman maintained his position as the highest-ever drafted Waxahachie alumnus.
Chapman was selected 13th overall in the 1954 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. In lieu of singing, Chapman chose to pursue a Ph.D. in nuclear physics.
Monate Reagor did, however, lose his title as the highest-drafted football player out of Waxahachie High School to play a down in the NFL. He is also now the third-highest selected alumnus behind his son and Chapman. It’s a “demotion” that Montae told KBEC Sports that he is honored to take.
Montae was selected in the second round (58th overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech University.
Other notable Waxahachie ISD alumni drafted into the NFL include:
• 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— the only alumnus of Turner High School in Waxahachie to play in the NFL — 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.
• Brian Waters (UNT), Broderick Sargent (Baylor) and Buzz Sawyer (Baylor) are all Waxahachie alumni and signed NFL contracts as free agents in 1999, 1986 and 1987, respectively.
• Waters is the lone WISD alumnus to play in a Pro Bowl (doing so six times) or named an All-Pro (twice). He was inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Ring of Honor in October.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith