Ty Jordan’s Short Time In Utah Turned Into Long Lasting Legacy

Dec 26, 2020, 6:02 PM | Updated: Dec 27, 2020, 7:29 pm
Ty Jordan - Utah Utes - Washington State Cougars...
Ty Jordan #22 of the Utah Utes rushes for a touchdown against the Washington State Cougars during their game on December 19, 2020 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Ty Jordan’s family, the University of Utah football program, the athletic department and the state is hurting.

The Utes lost one of their own late Friday night/early Saturday morning. True freshman running back Ty Jordan died at the age of 19 to an apparent accidental gun shot in Denton, Texas.

Saturday morning, officials with the Denton Police Department said a person that they have yet to identify was accidentally shot by a gun discharge Friday evening. He was rushed to a local hospital but was pronounced dead shortly after arriving. Utah football confirmed the tragic passing of Jordan shortly after 10 a.m. MST on Saturday morning.

Loss Is Bigger Than Football

After all of the news came out on Saturday morning and we hashed through all of it. I was able to take a few hours and truly comprehend what happened. Not what happened to Ty Jordan but what his loss means for Utah football, the University of Utah and the state of Utah. Normally, Twitter is not a great place if you are looking for any positive interaction.

That changed on Saturday. Brothers, coaches, staff members, other athletic programs at Utah, community leaders and thousands of fans expressed their condolences to the Jordan family. Then every Pac-12 team tweeted messages to the Utes. BYU players, coaches and AD Tom Holmoe sent their messages to the family and to the Utes.

College football coaches around the country sent tweets to Utah football. Seeing the reaction from his teammates and coaches on how his smile and positive energy was so infectious. The hard work and effort that he put into his craft was top notch. That is how he worked his way up the depth chart in such a quick time.

In a year that has been difficult to watch sports because of the unknown of when/if they would be played, Ty Jordan was a bright spot. He gave Utah football fans a reason to be excited for gameday. We should all be grateful for what he brought to this community in just one year/five games.

The football aspect aside, this tragedy reminded me of how fragile life is. I know that media members are supposed to be neutral and just bring the news. In this case, that’s tough to do. When you cover a team that goes through a loss like this, it’s hard not to have feelings of sadness.

On a personal level, I am a son, brother, husband and father. Just like Ty Jordan was a son and a brother. Hug your loved ones now and often. That’s something I won’t take for granted.

Legacy Will Last A Lifetime

Jordan was a part of Utah’s program for just over a year. He signed his National Letter of Intent in December of 2019. The Mesquite, Texas native originally committed to Texas before ultimately making Utah his home. During the build up to the 2020 season, Jordan lost his mother to cancer in August 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the media didn’t talk to Jordan until the Washington game. Everything he said to the media was about how he wanted to make his mom proud. I think it’s safe to say that Jordan made her very proud.

Going into the 2020 season, I don’t think many people believed that Jordan would make the immediate impact he would make in just five games. Entering training camp in October, he was a part of a four running back rotation. That quickly dwindled down to Jordan getting the bulk of the workload, leading to other running backs entering the transfer portal.

Jordan’s passion for the game was seen on the field in every rep he took. He was critical of himself in mistakes and humble in success. His legacy will be the speedster from Texas that made a huge impact on the state of Utah in one year and five games on the field, everything that he did, it was with a big smile on his face.

I have seen people on Twitter asking what is next for Utah at running back. First thing is that this should be the very last thing on anyone’s mind. Coaches, players, recruits and most importantly the fans. The season just ended. Even if this tragedy happened one week before the season, it would still apply.

We are talking about the loss of a young man’s life. Someone that had so much potential and had so much more things to do in life outside of football that now won’t have that opportunity. This off-season will be about grieving. After the year that this program has gone through, that’s the least this community can do is to allow them to grieve the loss of their brother.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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Ty Jordan’s Short Time In Utah Turned Into Long Lasting Legacy