For most Oklahoma football commits this weekend is the start of their senior seasons. Most early season matchups feature some of the biggest rivalries within their state, and that’s certainly the case in Oklahoma.
The annual Backyard Bowl between Jenks, Okla., and No. 20 Tulsa (Okla.) Union is Friday at the University of Tulsa. OU has a commit from each school, with three-star wide receiver Jordan Smallwood (Jenks) and three-star athlete Dalton Rodriguez (Union).
But one OU commit won't be playing in his native state. Heck, ESPN 300 linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni isn’t even playing in the United States.
Dallas Jesuit starts its season in Dublin, Ireland, against Chicago’s Loyola Academy.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ve been ready for this for a long time,” Mastrogiovanni said.
He said Friday's game has been scheduled for a while, and the team left Wednesday for Ireland. After their game, the team will stay to watch the Navy-Notre Dame contest Saturday before heading home.
There isn’t one specific thing Mastrogiovanni is looking forward to, but he is definitely looking forward to the trip.
“I’ve been to Canada once, but never left the continent before,” Mastrogiovanni said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing how they do things there and how different everything is.”
Mastrogiovanni said the team will be able to go on a couple of tours Thursday, giving the group a chance to relax before Friday’s game.
“It should be a lot of fun and something we’ll all remember for a long time,” Mastrogiovanni said.
Mastrogiovanni is the No. 201 player in the ESPN 300 and ranks as the No. 7 inside linebacker.