LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Dating all the way back to the early 50s, three generations of Kirkpatrick’s have played football for Texas Tech University. Lubbock Cooper senior safety, Jordan Kirkpatrick hopes to be the next one to suit up for the Red Raiders.
Kirkpatrick’s grandfather, Jack played quarterback for Tech, while his dad, Ben played linebacker, and his older brother Jack played in the secondary.
“Jake has been my biggest role model through like everything," said Jordan. "I’ve always looked up to him. And especially when it comes to football. That’s something that I like pride myself in, is that I can beat him or go further than him. And so I’ve kind of adopted his playing style.”
Growing up, Jordan said he was taken to Texas Tech games since he learned to crawl. But with his family ties to the program, he felt more invested than an average fan. He felt like he was already apart of the team. Now in his final year of high school, the pressure to follow in his families' footsteps has made him feel like it has to be Texas Tech or bust.
He said, “I’d love to go play at Tech. It’d be a dream come true to get to play there. I love the coaching staff, I think they’re a whole bunch of good dudes. I think they know what they’re talking about and I think they’re really trying to turn Tech around.”
Pirates, head coach Chip Darden said the pressure doesn’t affect Jordan’s play and has never come up as a topic of conversation.
“You know I’m sure there’s stuff you know with him at home or even just in his mind at times; but to me that’s the thing about him," said Darden. "You don’t never see him trying to play to earn a scholarship or do this for stats or anything like that. He just is playing cause he loves football. He loves the game, that’s what he shows every Friday night.”
Earlier this season, Lubbock Cooper got Jordan one step closer to achieving his goals. The Pirates hosted a home game at Jones AT&T Stadium against Frenship High. They won 20-14.
Jordan said, “It was a dream come true. Cause I’ve always been out there going to camps, I mean I’ve been down there on the field for it and stuff like that. But walking out there and stuff like that before the game and having a team meeting on the 50 and looking up and seeing this big bowl that you know is going to be filled up watching you is amazing. I loved every second of it.”
Coach Darden said it’s always a joy to him and his coaching staff to help a kid play at the next level. But acknowledged it’s even more special when a local kid becomes the local player on the Texas Tech football team.
“To me it’s fun when kids from around here play at Texas Tech. I think it’s neat for our area. I think it gets a lot of people that, you know; I think a lot of people around here are interested in Texas Tech and are fans. But then when you get a local kid, it really adds to that,” said Darden.
Kirkpatrick said he has not talked to anyone from Texas Tech so far, but has heard from a number of smaller colleges and would love to at least continue the legacy of playing at the next level.