Union Cornerback Jayden Rose is College Bound
By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer
Editor’s Note: This article is based on an interview with Union football player and OU commitee Jayden Rowe, which took place six days before Lincoln Riley left the Sooners to take the USC coaching job. This was also before the Redhawks’ Class 6AI state final game against Jenks on Dec. 4.
Staying close to home is the right thing for some people. That was the case for Union senior cornerback Jayden Rowe when he decided that he would be headed to the University of Oklahoma to play in college football.
“The atmosphere over there pretty much felt like home,” Rowe said. “I made a connection with the coaches. It’s also close to Tulsa and I didn’t really want to go anywhere out of state, so I decided to pick OU.”
Rowe chose Oklahoma over Baylor, LSU and Oklahoma State. He made his decision last spring and attended all Sooner home games this past season.
Rowe has been in the Union school system his whole life. He has been playing football since he was in the third grade. He loves the physical aspect of the game.
“Well, at my position, I like to beat people up,” Rowe said. “I’m a real physical guy. I like guarding the receivers.”
A favorite NFL cornerback of Rowe’s is Jalen Ramsey, who is currently with the Los Angeles Rams and has played in the past for Jacksonville Jaguars. Favorite team is the Seattle Seahawks.
Another person that influenced Rowe’s decision just happens to be a former Union standout who is already there.
“I have a close relationship with Pat (Patrick) Fields. He’s the reason why I really pretty much committed to OU,” Rowe said. “He’s been talking to me about the coaches and me playing over at OU pretty much. I talk to him a lot.”
Union’s biggest wins this season have against rivals Broken Arrow and Owasso. They beat the latter 10-7 in overtime back on Sept. 24.
“Our defense pretty much (made the difference),” Rowe said. “Our defense is great. We got Jakyri Jenkins at the other corner, Bryce Ashlock at linebacker, De’Marion Thomas at defensive tackle, safety Devin Robinson and the list goes on. We’ve been holding people down. Owasso’s offense was really good and I was surprised we beat them, and BA too.”
Union beat Broken Arrow 38-28 on Sept. 3 in the regular season, but won just 17-14 in their second-round playoff game on Nov. 19.
“Their (BA) offense got better,” Rowe said. “They had a new quarterback (Sterling Ramsey). He was good.”
The Redhawks, who adopted their new nickname last month, were scheduled to meet rival Jenks in the Class 6AI state championship back on Dec. 4 at UCO stadium in Edmond.
In their regular season Backyard Bowl encounter on Sept. 10, the Trojans shut Union out, 22-0.
Rowe said the difference going into the final is the Redhawks having Rovaughn Banks at quarterback.
“He’s been progressing on the feld a lot. That’s what has happened with the offense,” he said. “Our defense got better too. Since we lost to Jenks, we just took that anger and use that on other teams. I think we’re better now.”