Several years of Josh
Jordan’s childhood were spent on the sidelines at the University of
Southwestern Louisiana working as a ball boy for the football team.
Coaching the tight ends
and offensive tackles back then at the school, now known as the
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, was Jordan’s father, Jeff. A big
part of the offense Jeff Jordan worked with there from 1993 to 1996 was
a local product named Jake Delhomme.
“Jake taught Jordan how to
throw a football,’’ Jeff Jordan said.
Josh Jordan learned his
lessons well and as result will now join Delhomme, a quarterback for the
NFL’s Carolina Panthers, on the roster of a North Carolina football
Jordan became the latest
addition to East Carolina’s recruiting Class of 2008 on Sunday after
returning from an official visit to Greenville. A 6-foot-4 1/2,
200-pounder from Saint Amant, LA, Jordan had previously committed to
Iowa State back in July. But he backed off that pledge in order to
officially visit ECU, which turned out to be the right decision,
according to Jeff Jordan.
“I don’t think he had that
warm, fuzzy feeling about Iowa State,’’ Jeff Jordan said. “It didn’t
feel right, to quote him. When he went to East Carolina he had the
feeling like that was where he needed to be. But Josh had also been
talking with (offensive coordinator) Mike Groh at Virginia and was
probably going to take an official visit there this weekend. But when he
got home Sunday night (from Greenville) he said he really didn’t think
he needed to look anymore. It (ECU) felt like home to him.’’
Jordan also had offers
from Louisiana-Monroe and Southeastern Louisiana. Connecticut had also
gotten involved in recruiting Jordan.
ECU head coach Skip Holtz
and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Todd Fitch were scheduled
to make an in-home visit with the Jordans on Tuesday evening in Saint
Amant, a community about 25 miles southeast of Baton Rouge and about 50
miles northwest of New Orleans.
Josh Jordan actually began
his high school football career at Denham Springs High just outside
Baton Rouge. But the family decided to move south to Saint Amant when
the territory for his mother, a pharmaceutical rep, was rearranged
following Hurricane Katrina.
The move brought Jordan to
perhaps the toughest 5-A district in Louisiana and under the tutelage of
Saint Amant head coach David Swacker. Jordan’s father also joined
Wacker’s coaching staff at Saint Amant.
Swacker has moved to
another school since the 2007 season ended, but spent two seasons
“He’s got all the tools,’’
Swacker said. “I guess the best example I can give you is a situation we
had this year. He made a last-second throw from about about the 50-yard
line to win a game for us. But I bet he ran around for about 30 seconds
before he threw the ball. He had a great year for us.’’
Jordan had two pretty good
seasons at Saint Amant. He shared the quarterback job for the first
three games of his junior year before the senior co-starter was injured.
Jordan went on to direct the team by himself for the next five games and
wound up completing 102 of 209 passes for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns
for the season. He also rushed for 333 more on 84 carries.
An impressive performance
by Jordan during a Nike combine at Texas Christian University in April
prior to his senior season sparked Iowa State’s interest in Jordan. A
scholarship offer was soon extended by the Cyclones. Intrigued by the
possibility of playing in the powerful Big Ten Conference, Jordan
accepted the opportunity in July.
It wasn’t until well into
his senior season that Jordan became interested in East Carolina because
of a connection Saint Almant offensive coordinator David Oliver has with
the Pirate coaching staff. Oliver once worked on Tommy Bowden’s staff at
Tulane where he was a colleague of current ECU assistant head coach and
defensive backs coach Rick Smith. Also playing for those Tulane teams
was ECU defensive graduate assistant coach Tim Carter.
“Jordan had expressed that
maybe he wasn’t completely comfortable with Iowa State,’’ Jeff Jordan
said. “So Coach Oliver asked if he wanted to look at some other
opportunities. Coach Oliver contacted Tim Carter and told him Josh was
interested in looking at East Carolina.
“Josh decided he wanted to
visit East Carolina, so at that time he spoke to the coaches at Iowa
State. They were not in favor of it. They didn’t feel like he should
look around because he had given his word. It was a difficult decision
for him to go back on the commitment. He felt guilty about it. He came
to me and said, ‘What should I do?’ I asked if he really wanted to go
visit East Carolina. He said, ‘Yes,’ so I told him he should go.
“When he told the Iowa
State coaches it would mean a lot to him to go to East Carolina to take
a look, they told him if he did they’d take his scholarship away. I
guess they played hardball. He decided to take a look anyway.’’
Wacker said Jordan found a
place he felt at home and an offense that suited his skills at ECU.
“Every team does something
different with the spread offense,’’ Wacker said. “But it seems to me
that East Carolina throws the ball down the field more in their spread.
That’s what Josh does well. He’s a state champion in the javelin, so he
can throw the ball down the field.’’
Jordan followed up his
junior season by completing 142 of 254 passes for 1,809 yards and 20
touchdowns as a senior. The latter campaign included a 392-yard,
seven-touchdown effort against St. Charles.
He’ll bring his strong
arm, and possibly his family to Greenville next fall. Jeff Jordan said
he and his wife are considering relocating to North Carolina so they can
follow Josh’s career with the Pirates.
“My wife’s company has a
regional office there (in North Carolina), so she may look into
transferring to the area,’’ Jeff Jordan said. “I’d check into a coaching
job somewhere, but probably not in Greenville. We wouldn’t want to
Either way, the Jordans
are likely to make a few family trips to Charlotte as well to watch
“I’m looking forward to
talking to him about it (Josh’s commitment),’’ Jeff Jordan said. “He and
I generally talk in the off-season. I’m sure he’ll be excited for
thumbnail sketches of all players verbally committed to join ECU's
recruiting class of 2008.]