This could be one of the greatest weekends in the life of Midwest City (Okla.) High’s Jalen Redmond’s life. No hyperbole.
It could also be one of the busiest.
Redmond, ranked No. 295 in the Scout 300, might be doing an insane travel schedule from Friday through Sunday in football and basketball.
It starts Friday evening as Midwest City takes on Norman North in an area championship game at Tulsa Memorial in basketball. The winner advances to the state tournament. The loser can rebound and earn a berth Saturday.
If the Bombers knock off Trae Young and the Timberwolves, the weekend gets a lot easier. But if Norman North wins, then Redmond will have to stay in Tulsa through Saturday evening before heading straight to the Dallas Opening regional in Frisco, Texas, Sunday morning.
But make no mistake about it, he’ll be there.
“No, I’m definitely going to that,” said Redmond on if he was second-guessing his schedule. “I’m going to that no matter what happens.”
Redmond has been in this constant football-basketball cycle for the last calendar year. Spring football helped get his name out. Then summer was a mix of playing basketball tournaments and visiting football campuses.
Fall was 100 percent football as Redmond was a first-year starter for the Bombers. And the last couple of months have been dedicated to basketball with trying to make sure he’s left enough room for football on the side.
Redmond hadn’t played at the varsity level in football until his junior season. He missed a couple of games because of a death in the family, but in eight games Redmond registered 82 tackles and 14 sacks.
“It was surprising to me that I still had the ability to play despite not being there since middle school,” Redmond said. “I didn’t think I’d actually be any good.”
Memphis offered initially in the spring based on pure athletic ability. His numbers in 2016 opened up a whole new avenue of doors.
One of them has been Oklahoma. The Sooners have kept a close eye on Redmond throughout this process. Redmond has been to OU twice already in 2017 and was there multiple times in 2016.
The offer was officially extended in January, and it’s clear the Sooners continue to do everything right in this pursuit.
“My relationship is real great,” Redmond said. “I love the coaching staff. I love the school. My mom loves them, and that’s a big deal, too.”
Redmond was back in Norman two weeks ago for OU’s second junior day. Although he has seen the campus a few times, this one seemed to resonate just a bit more.
“The coaches talked to me a lot more, a lot more one-on-one attention,” Redmond said. “I saw more of the school and the dorm room. I was just going there to enjoy it, but at the same time when you start seeing that stuff, you start thinking this is the kind of place for you.”
Redmond didn’t commit and said he has no timetable for when he wants to make his choice. He’d like to visit Nebraska and Texas, although the Longhorns have not offered as of now.
Listed at around 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, it will be interesting what his official measurements are in Frisco this weekend. One mis-calculation on Sooners Illustrated’s part has been Redmond’s position.
Redmond clarified that even though OU has moved to a 4-3 defensive front, he is being viewed as an outside linebacker by the Sooners and not a defensive end.
“Most schools tell me outside linebacker,” Redmond said. “The majority of what I’ll be doing is what I’m doing now in terms of going off the edge.
“I talked to Mike Stoops, and he said I would be outside linebacker if I was going to be there.”
That’s the football side. However, Redmond’s focus is not divided. He absolutely wants to help the Bombers defeat Norman North so he can earn that day of rest before Frisco.
It will be matchup of the state’s best point guard in OU commit Trae Young vs. the state’s best 2018 point guard in Keyshawn Embery for Midwest City. Should be fun.
“I cannot wait,” Redmond said.
(Sooners Illustrated will be in Tulsa on Friday and Frisco on Sunday for full coverage)