The tributes for Jeff Gladney continued to pour in late into the evening on Memorial Day. The former first-round pick was killed in a car accident early Monday morning, according to his agent Brian Overstreet. He was 25 years old.
Gladney was a college teammate and roommate with Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jalen Reagor at Texas Christian University. The two friends entered the NFL together in the 2020 draft and grew up outside the Dallas area, less than three hours from each other in North Texas.
The offensive starter from 2021 was emotionally shaken by his friend’s tragic passing judging by his raw reaction on Twitter. He shared a picture from their farewell game at TCU, along with a screenshot of their final text exchange before Gladney’s unexpected death on May 30.
It was powerful stuff, to say the least. Remember, Reagor missed time at 2021 training camp after the murder of a childhood friend that year left him mentally hurt. He has also suffered physically — ankle, thumb, and shoulder injuries — while playing in 28 games over his first two seasons. Reagor has 64 receptions for 695 yards and three touchdowns.
Reagor called Gladney his “best friend” in one post, adding some more “brotherly love” in another tweet: “Lost my Brother, my best friend, my right hand man … ain’t too much more I can take man damn! R.I.P Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please.”
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TCU, NFL Issue Statements on Passing of Young CB
TCU issued a statement upon learning of one of their favorite sons. The 6-foot, 186-pound cornerback started 10 games for the Horned Frogs in 2019 and tied for second in the Big 12 with 15 passes defensed. Prior to that, Gladney was rated No. 1 in the Big 12 for lowest passer rating allowed (46.9) with a minimum of 200 coverage snaps.
TCU released the following statement: “He loved everything about his alma mater. He was at our spring practices and spring game this year, proudly joined by his young son. He will be missed by our entire community.”
The NFL released the following statement: “The NFL family mourns the tragic loss of Jeff Gladney and we extend our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Eagles Still Banking on Reagor to Develop
The Eagles traded for A.J. Brown and added Zach Pascal this offseason to improve what was widely considered a weak receiving corps in 2021. The third-year receiver hasn’t been released, but the writing might be on the wall. The Eagles need him to give them meaningful snaps.
“Jalen Reagor, we want more production from Jalen Reagor,” head coach Nick Sirianni said on January 19. “He has skill and talent. It’s our job as coaches to get that skill and talent out if him, so it produces on the field.”
If not, there is a real chance that Reagor could be released. Or traded.
“We talked about it at the end of the season; we need Jalen [Reagor] to take another step,” Roseman said. “We need Jalen to do some of the things we drafted him to do. He knows that. There’s no secret about that. We’ve told him the same things.”