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The Oklahoman's Super 30: Choctaw cornerback and OU commit Jordan Mukes has 'scary' potential

Choctaw cornerback Jordan Mukes, who has committed to play at Oklahoma, is ranked No. 9 in The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's top football recruits for the 2021 class. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]
Choctaw cornerback Jordan Mukes, who has committed to play at Oklahoma, is ranked No. 9 in The Oklahoman's Super 30 list of the state's top football recruits for the 2021 class. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

CHOCTAW — Jordan Mukes wasn’t sure about giving football another try.

“I started dribbling a basketball, started dunking in middle school, so I stayed in basketball,” Mukes said. “I thought I was going to do something with that until I got serious about playing football again.”

Now, entering his senior year, it’s football, not basketball, that is Mukes’ top sport. He’s No. 9 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list and is committed to Oklahoma.

Jake Corbin said he saw the potential in Mukes to be a big-time prospect and beyond the first time he laid eyes on him.

That was Mukes’ freshman year when Corbin saw the youngster on the basketball court.

Even in another sport, Corbin saw Mukes as a football player. Instead of trying to finesse, Mukes was aggressive and went right at opponents.

“Even as a freshman, he was always trying to dunk on kids,” Corbin said. “He’d miss and jog down again and do the same thing.”

So Corbin went to work on convincing Mukes to give football another try.

Mukes had played the sport until he was 11 or 12, when a broken arm and a love of basketball pushed him away from football.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to give it another try.

But Corbin didn’t put on the hard sell.

Instead, he pulled Mukes in by telling him how much working out with the football team would help him on the basketball court.

“He wasn’t going to force me to come down,” Mukes said. “He’d just say, ‘Come down, come lift after basketball. It’ll help make you stronger.’”

Before definitively committing to playing football, Mukes heard talk around school.

“He’s scared to hit,” some people around Choctaw said.

That was laughable, according to Mukes.

“I knew I wasn’t scared to hit,” Mukes said. “That was actually my favorite part about football. I just kind of got tired of it and wanted to show them.”

It didn’t take long for Mukes to show he wasn’t afraid of contact.

“He was a football player from the start,” Corbin said. “I wasn’t sure what (position) he was, but I knew he was something. He could play just about anywhere he wanted to play.”

Mukes’ sophomore year was spent experimenting with him in a variety of positions — outside linebacker, defensive end, wide receiver, running back. But he finally found a home in the defensive backfield as a cornerback.

In a 7-on-7 game after his sophomore year, Choctaw was mostly playing wide receiver.

“I was doing good, scoring a bunch of touchdowns, but one day I just wanted to go play corner real quick,” Mukes said.

It was the waning moments of a game with the opponent at the 5. Mukes jumped in on defense and made a play.

He found a home.

“I didn’t really like offense,” Mukes said. “Offense is kind of too soft for me. After that, it was all defense.”

With his size, hovering near 6-foot-4, and his vertical — Corbin said he’s not sure exactly what Mukes’ vertical is but he’s seen him easily touch the 12-foot ceilings in Choctaw’s weight room — Mukes quickly became a big-time college prospect and even still with plenty of growth possibility remaining, Mukes quickly grabbed an offer from OU and committed to the Sooners in March.

“I have way more to improve,” Mukes said. “I haven’t played as long as a lot of four-star, five-star guys. They’ve been out there longer, seen the game more. I have plenty of athletic ability. Once the coaches keep teaching me exactly what I need to do, I’m going to get much better.

“I’m still lanky. Especially when I go to college, it’s going to be scary.”

***

The Oklahoman’s Super 30

Name: Jordan Mukes

School: Choctaw

Super 30 ranking: No. 9

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 202 pounds

Position: Cornerback

Committed to: Oklahoma

Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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