New Boston's Jeff Gladney drafted into the NFL
Last year, TCU defensive back Jeff Gladney told the Tribune that he was ready to put in the work in his senior season as a Horned Frog and then make the leap to the NFL. Gladney said at the time, “I am just going to do what I have to do, get drafted, and then show them I will do whatever I have to do to help my team get some wins.”
Gladney did just what he said he was going to do last year, and he will now get his chance to prove himself on the biggest stage in sports, as he was drafted Wednesday by the Minnesota Vikings.
Gladney was the 31st pick in the first round of the NFL draft on Wednesday, and there are few from his hometown of New Boston that are surprised today.
His former New Boston head coach Jamey Thomas told the Tribune this morning, “Just like everybody in New Boston, we are extremely proud of Jeff and his accomplishments. We knew at an early age he was something special. He was a leader and a special ball player. It makes a coach proud to see a kid’s dreams come true. I just want him to know how proud I am of him.”
Gladney’s selection to the NFL continues his progression from high school star to player in the pro ranks.
Gladney was a key factor in the Lions’ deep run into the playoffs in 2013 that took them inches from a chance at a state championship before their loss to Wall. Along the way, Gladney had 145 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns in a win over Malakoff and then led the Lions defense as they shutout nemesis Daingerfield, to setup the semi-final matchup with Wall.
Gladney came back even stronger in 2014, earning the 7-3A Division 1 Most Valuable Player nod and then signing his Letter of Intent to play for TCU in February of 2015.
He continued his hard work and spots on the highlight reels for the Horned Frogs, with college career totals of 148 tackles and five interceptions. In his last season, Gladney led the Big 12 in passes defended and made NFL coaches take a hard look at him with his hard hitting, aggressive style of play.
There is little doubt to those that know Gladney, that he will continue his exploits in the NFL and football fans all across Northeast Texas will now be fans of the Minnesota Vikings, to support one of their own that has shown that hard work does pay off, and dreams do come true.