CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In a momentous occasion for student-athletes nationwide, numerous individuals signed commitments to pursue their athletic careers at the collegiate level on Wednesday. Among these aspiring athletes were several from the coastal bend region. However, one individual in particular stole the spotlight: Bradford Jennings, a standout high jumper from Flour Bluff.
Jennings has gained recognition as the top high jumper in the state of Texas, and his recent performance only solidified his reputation. During an impressive display of athleticism, he shattered a 40-year-old high jump record by clearing a height of seven feet, one and three-quarters inches. It goes without saying that Jennings possesses remarkable leaping ability.
Following his record-breaking feat, Texas Tech's Red Raiders took notice and extended a significant scholarship offer to Jennings. Reflecting on the moment, Jennings expressed his disbelief and overwhelming emotions.
"It was a surreal moment. A lot of crying, a lot of happy feelings, sad feelings. It was a great accomplishment. I was like 'I guess I'm that good then' I don't know. I didn't think a school like this would reach out to me. In the beginning of the year, I was ready to settle down, find a college. Texas Tech, it was a surprise to me, really," said Jennings.
Achieving such a feat and garnering attention from a prestigious institution like Texas Tech was a great accomplishment for Jennings, who initially had not anticipated receiving interest from a school of that caliber. At the start of the year, he was prepared to settle down and find a college, but the unexpected offer from Texas Tech took him by surprise.
Notably, this victory at the state meet marked Jennings' first and only time securing a gold medal.
Several more soon to be college athletes came out of Ray High School where almost a dozen student athletes signed to play at the next level.
That's baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and track and field athletes.
"When I was younger, I remember my dad and I working out in the garage, and he would tell me 'Picture that scholarship' as a way of motivating me because that was always my dream. Being able to keep going and then knowing I want to stay with the game to be a coach feels really good too," said Sarah Cortez, a University of Houston at Victoria commit from Ray.
"I'm majoring in computer science. My parents will be able to watch games. I can still come down and visit, that's what I was looking forward too, being close," said Layton Carpenter, an A&M University San Antonio commit from Ray.
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