Bengals High 5: Five questions with rookie linebacker Jordan Evans

Cincinnati Bengals rookie linebacker Jordan Evans is expected to make his NFL debut Sunday against Baltimore. PHOTO COURTESY OF CINCINNATI BENGALS

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Cincinnati Bengals rookie linebacker Jordan Evans is expected to make his NFL debut Sunday against Baltimore. PHOTO COURTESY OF CINCINNATI BENGALS

Twelve years after a devastating hurricane resulted in Jordan Evans experiencing one of his most memorable experiences in sports, he’s on deck for the biggest athletic moment of his life as another major storm is barrelling toward infamy.

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Ahead of what is expected to be his NFL debut on Sunday against Baltimore, the rookie linebacker sat down and discussed how Hurricane Katrina made him see stars, why an Eskimo is so special to him and why none of his friends should bother calling or texting him good luck Saturday night:

Q: Because it's a weekend for firsts, do you remember the first sporting event you ever went to as a kid?

A: It was probably an Oklahoma football game, but I remember the first big one was when the New Orleans Hornets, after Hurricane Katrina hit, they moved to OKC (Oklahoma City) for a while. I remember going to one of those games with my dad. It was so cool because as a kid those guys are like big-time celebrities and you want to be them and you play with them on the video games.

Q: What do you remember about the first game you played at Oklahoma, where your dad had starred before you?

A: All I did was run down on kickoff. It was my freshman year, and I didn't play any on defense. I remember running out of that tunnel and getting goosebumps. I was crazy nervous because I was a hometown kid from Norman, playing at OU.

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Q: Who is the non-family member who has been the most influential on your life or career?

A: His name is James Franklin. He was a Missouri quarterback, now he's in the CFL with Edmonton. Family friends. I've known him since I was a kid. I've always looked up to him because he does it the right way. He walks like a Christian man is supposed to and lives the right life. I've always tried to follow in the same path.

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Q: At some point, maybe Sunday, you're going to get an interception or score a touchdown or something special like that. What will you do with the ball?

A: Well first of, if that happens, I'm going to have to dance with it or something. If they give it to me and let me keep the ball, I'll send it back home and give it to my mom. My dad's study has all his game balls and all my game balls, so it would be pretty cool to put my first turnover or touchdown ball up there with those.

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Q: What are your viewing plans for Saturday night's big Ohio State-Oklahoma game, and what's your prediction?

A: We'll be in the hotel and we have a couple meetings, so I know I'll probably miss a little of the beginning. But I'll definitely be watching it, and of course OU is going to win. There will be no question. Joe (Mixon) and I will probably watch together. No one better call my phone because I'm going to be watching the game.

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