RESPECT. Interview: Former Sooner Wide Receiver & Draft Prospect Jordan Smallwood Talks Playing With Baker Mayfield & Playing At The Next Level

Courtesy of Jordan Smallwood

Jordan Smallwood is a Wide Receiver out of the University Of Oklahoma, who is currently training with TCR Sports Performance as they prepare him for the upcoming NFL Draft in Arlington, Texas on April 26th at AT&T Stadium.

Smallwood is Tulsa, Oklahoma and attended Jenks High School in Jenks, OK. During his time at Jenks, Smallwood was a three-star recruit according to Rivals, ESPN, 247Sports, Scout, and PrepStar. He would go on to catch two passes for 50 yards in Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl and then proceed to catch two TDs in Oklahoma 6A State Championship game. During his senior year, he caught 50 passes for 763 yards and 11 TDs. 

In 2013, he would commit to the University of Oklahoma but would redshirt. The following season he would get the opportunity to play all 13 games and record a career-high 11 receiving yards against Oklahoma State on December 6, 2013. During his Sophomore year, he would see time in the Orange Bowl against Clemson. As a junior, he would register 52 yards with five receptions. Finally, during his senior  Smallwood played all 14 games and won the Don Key Award winner, which is the highest honor at the University of Oklahoma.

RESPECT. MAG Correspondent Landon Buford had the opportunity to catch up with draft prospect Jordan Smallwood to discuss what it was like to play with reigning Heisman Trophy Winner Baker Mayfield. In addition, playing for Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley, and where he feels he can fit in at the next level.

Courtesy of Jordan Smallwood

RESPECT.: How has the University of Oklahoma prepared you for the next level?

With my preparation and I approached each game from my freshmen year to the final game of my senior year. Each week was a tough challenge, and they taught us how to be men, and ever since then, I saw it as a significant part of my journey.

RESPECT.: You had the opportunity to play for Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley. Can you break down the difference in their coaching philosophies?

Bob is an excellent coach and phenomenal man he is the reason why I came to Oklahoma in the first place. I received a personal phone call from him during my recruitment process. He asked me did I want to go and play for the Sooners. That change my life forever and allowed me to begin the journey that I am on now.

It was a great experience he is a defensive-minded coach, but he does care a lot about his offensive players.  Going into the program, I knew that he wins football games with his defensive. When coach Riley came to town, he was more of an offensive-minded coach, and he complimented Coach Stoops very well.

When Coach Riley took over for Bob Stoops, we knew that the team was going to be a massively passing team. Both coaches are great one known for his defensive and the other his offense, but we they both taught us how to be men and win football games.

RESPECT.: Who is someone that you want or wanted to model your own game after?

Growing up I wanted to model my game after the great Jerry Rice he was not the biggest or the fastest guy on the field, but his work ethic was what set him apart from his peers. He was some the trained every day and did not take any days off he knew that there was always an area from improvement. That is something that I wanted to add to the way I approached the game of football growing up. If I ever get the opportunity, I would love to chance down his records, and my goal is to be the best I can be on and off the field.

RESPECT.:  You have been a part of the ‘Red River Rivalry’ for the past 4 season what are you going to miss the most?

That game alone is one that you circle on your calendar every year being an OU fan and player. Going into the game preparation for that week is the reason why you want to come to the University of Oklahoma or University of Texas. It is a great experience and me as an individual I take a lot of that game because of the history behind it and one of the things that I remember about that game specifically, it not just about you as a player it’s about the people that came before you and after. I am going to miss coming out of the tunnel, and you see that burnt orange vs. crimson and cream.

RESPECT.:  You had the opportunity to play with current Heisman Trophy Winner Baker Mayfield. What are some things about his leadership style that you cannot see on film?

His personality off the field is not the same as you see on the field. A lot of people may describe him as also that is very cocky, arrogant, and immature from is play on the field, but that is far from who he is off it. Everyone that was around him at the University of Oklahoma saw him as a leader and someone that wants to what’s best for his team. He was a very kind-hearted individual off the field and myself I will always be a fan of Baker Mayfield.  I think what people do not see is the way he prepares for games and is a humble individual.

RESPECT.:  In your opinion how would you rate your performance at your Pro Day at the University of Oklahoma?

For me, I am very hard on myself, people around me gave me the compliments and said their congratulations. I would personally rate my performance a nine out of ten because there is always room for improvement no matter who you are. It was also an opportunity to around my teammates again before we take that next step in our journey. I also had the chance to showcase my talents in front of NFL personnel, and they can see what I can bring to the table.

RESPECT.:  Who are some of the NFL teams that you spoke to so far?

During this process, I have spoken and worked out for a bunch of teams at the next level, but at this time I do not want to release team names. They have all given me positive feedback, but other than that I am waiting to receive the call just like everyone else that is eligible for this year’s draft. I also have had the opportunity to see how this whole draft process works and I can’t wait to see what happens during draft weekend.

RESPECT.: What would be your own ideal position that you would like to be in at the next level?

I feel that I can adapt to any offensive set. I had the opportunity to be in the pro set offense and the spread offense throughout my career. I have also had the chance to play in the air-raid offensive it does not really matter for me I love the challenge that will be presented to me at the next level. I feel I can adapt on the dime and for any NFL team that is looking to pick me up I want to them to know that I am ready to get to work and earn my position within that team. My focus is to help my team win football games.

RESPECT.: As a playmaker where do you think you to improve your game and if the opportunity presented itself would be interested returning punts and kicks at the next level?

As a player marker, I feel I can always improve my game I do not think I need just to single one thing out. I want to improve in every area of my game not only one area the field, but all over the field. That is just the type of person that I am whether that is studying schemes and read defenses. If had the opportunity to return punts and kicks that is something I want to do as a member of the team. If that is what the coaching staff needs me to do that is a challenge that I am willing to pursue. I want to everything in my power to make the team even if playing on the offensive is not an option. I played on special teams in college it’s not something that I am not familiar with and felt it would be an exciting experience at the next level.

RESPECT.: When you get that first check after being drafted what is your first investment?

My first investment will be to put that first check away into savings. I’m not an individual that likes to spend money if I don’t have to I’ll pay for essential things like food, water, but I will not be living above my means.

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About Landon Buford

http://landonbuford.com/ Washington State graduate. Past interviews include Grammy Award winner Kenny G, David Banner, WNBA President Lisa Borders, What's Trending's CEO Shira Lazar, Ice Cube, NBC's 'Chicago PD' actor LaRoyce Hawkins, 'Family Matters' actor Darius McCrary, En Vogue's Maxine Jones, Team USA Track & Field member Norris Frederick, James Kyson, WNBA great Lauren Jackson and more.