2019 graduate and Wrangler football star Ty Jordan dies in a gun accident

Jordan’s achievements at Utah left opponents humbled

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Photographer

Ty-Coreous Jordan

Jean Jacques Taylor, Contributing writer

 

Ty Jordan runs for one of his many plays as a University of Utah first string player in his freshman year,

 

Jordan outplays his Poteet opponent as a Wrangler in 2019.

It’s never about the length of a person’s life; it’s always about the impact that life makes on others.

Ty-Coreous Jordan, Ty to friends and family, proved it.

Again.

Jordan, a 19-year-old known as much for his smile as his football prowess, touched so many lives in a short period of time before he died in an accidental gun accident on Christmas Day.

He left an impression on classmates, teammates, coaches and administrators in addition to family.

But he didn’t do it solely with his exploits on the football field. As a freshman varsity player at Utah,  he was named the PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Year and PAC-12 Newcomer of the Year after gaining 597 yards on 83 carries, a 7.2 average.

He became the first freshman at Utah to record three consecutive 100-yard games since 1995.

He did the same types of things at West, where he eventually earned more than 20 scholarship offers. As a senior, he was co-District 7-5A Player of the Year and considered a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star recruit by Rivals and 247 sports.

At 5-7 and 200 pounds, Ty had a unique blend of speed, quickness and power that left defenders humbled. He finished his career with 2,520 yards rushing and 35 touchdowns.

But that’s not the entirety of Ty’s story.

Look at his Utah football head shot and he’s flashing a smile that would make any professional photographer giddy.

Look at the picture pinned to the top of his Twitter account and he’s smiling from his mother’s hospital room as she fought valiantly against cancer. She died in August, 2020.

“When he smiled,” said Deirdre Espinoza, who took photos for the West Mesquite Booster Club, “you smiled.”

Ty’s personality combined with his athletic ability is why those who knew him best have set up makeshift memorials. His No. 22 has been painted on the Spence and Cleone Football Practice Center field as a tribute.

Arch-rival BYU sent a framed jersey, a plaque and a dog tag.

And the university has established a scholarship in his name and coach Kyle Whittingham has donated $100,000.

“Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan,” Whitingham said.  “Ty’s personality and smile were infectious and he made a huge impact on our program in the short time he was with us. He leaves an indelible mark on each of us and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. From the bottom of our hearts, all of us in the Utah Football Family want to say we love you Ty and may you rest in peace.”

The Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a football student-athlete who exemplifies the inspiring qualities that Jordan displayed through his work ethic, positivity and perseverance through adversity. The scholarship means he will impact lives forever.