Ty Jordan’s Aunt, Step-Mother Travel To Atlanta To Cheer On Devin Lloyd, Nick Ford
Aug 27, 2022, 3:58 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2022, 11:13 am
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA- When the Utes say, “family on three” they mean it. The late Ty Jordan’s aunt (Takka Jordan) and his step-mother (ShaQuita Henderson) traveled to Atlanta to watch the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Atlanta Falcons in their last preseason game. The significance of this? Jaguar first round draft pick Devin Lloyd along with free agent Nick Ford were teammates of Jordan at Utah and some of his biggest champions in the Utes’ historical 2021 season.
Watching the @DevinLloyd_ and @NickFord55 play Atlanta Falcons 💪🏾💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/fVLZMpz40G
— Takka Jordan (@Takka_Jordan) August 27, 2022
The story of Ty Jordan is forever ingrained in Utah football lore. The freshman running back made an instant splash for the Utes in 2020’s shortened five-game Covid-19 season. Jordan ran for 597 yards and six touchdowns in his crowd-less debut- a signal of better days ahead for many people in Salt Lake City who felt hopeless in the middle of the pandemic lockdown.
Tragically, Jordan became even more mythical than he appeared on TV having lost his life to an accidental gunshot wound just a week after Utah’s last game of the season on Christmas Day. Jordan’s shocking loss severely shook Ute Nation from the staff, players on down to the fans. Jordan felt like a light at the end of a dark tunnel only to be extinguished as quickly as he caught fire.
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The response and impact of Jordan’s death in Salt Lake City spurned a movement. Fans created the 597 Challenge in Jordan’s honor, and the Athletic Department moved to create the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship along with the “Moment of Loudness”.
Jordan’s death encouraged players like Devin Lloyd and Nick Ford to stay one more year in an attempt to earn Utah’s first Pac-12 Title in his memory despite having “draftable” grades already.
The first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship was Jordan’s closest friend on the team since high school, defensive back Aaron Lowe. Lowe changed his number from 2 to 22 (the number Jordan wore) to honor his friend in the 2021 season.
Hauntingly, just a month into the 2021 season, almost nine months to the day of Jordan’s death, Lowe was gunned down at a house party. The result was a Ground Hog Day-like despair throughout Utah and the college football world. Questions instantly arose as to whether or not the Utes would even finish the 2021 season after a slow start and then another death so closely connected to the first in the middle of their season.
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Utah persevered largely due to the words of Lowe’s mother, but also because of players like Lloyd and Ford who felt like they made a commitment to “finish the job” not only for Jordan, but for Lowe as well.
Impressively the Utes powered through their immense pain bringing the Pac-12 Championship Trophy home to Salt Lake City for the first time, and earning a trip to the Rose Bowl where they came up just short in an epic game against Ohio State.
Perhaps the most touching aspect of this story is the powerful bond that has been created between the Utah football team, the fans and the Jordan and Lowe families. It’s a bond that certainly looks to continue through the 2022 season and the foreseeable future. “Family on three…”
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