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Former OU linebacker Jordan Evans earns his spot, taken by Bengals

From Norman North to OU to the NFL, Jordan Evans picked by Cincinnati in NFL Draft.

Everybody knew there was going to be four former Oklahoma players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft long before this weekend.

A fifth one emerged in former OU linebacker Jordan Evans, thanks in large part to his incredible pro day less than two months ago.

The momentum never stopped for Evans, culminating in being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round (No. 193 overall) Saturday in the Draft.

The definition of a home-grown product. Evans was a star at Norman North, just minutes away from the OU campus. And spent the last three seasons as a starter for the Sooners at middle linebacker. He led the team in tackles as a senior was second on the team as a sophomore and a junior.

Denied an invitation to the NFL Combine two months ago, Evans used that as fuel to his fire when it came to his blistering pro day results.

You could have arguments over which numbers were more impressing. The 4.5-second 40-yard dash, which would have been the fastest of any linebackers at the Combine? The 38.5-inch vertical leap that shows the underrated athletic ability he possesses?

"Jordan was excellent for us and probably hasn't gotten the attention he deserves,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said. “He was very productive for us the last four years and has the ability to make big-time plays, even in the passing game. You look at his athleticism and his productivity — I'm not sure there's much else you could want from a linebacker. Wherever he ends up, he'll be a great asset to his team."

Evans hit a rough patch midway through his senior season, but the captain finished strong for the Sooners. He had four interceptions, including returning two of them for touchdowns.

Evans finished his career with 22 tackles for loss and made history with a two-sack, two-interception game in a win vs. Baylor.

Not even close to being a natural inside linebacker coming out of high school, Evans has learned the position and put himself in a spot to be successful at the next level. And now we know that means he’ll get his chance with Cincinnati.


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