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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

By Sammy Batten

RECRUITING THUMBNAILS:  2006  •  2007  •  2008

Another Cajun QB drawn to N.C.

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

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 team.

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 coaching Jordan.

“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 smother him.’’

Either way, the Jordans are likely to make a few family trips to Charlotte as well to watch Delhomme.

“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 Josh.’’

[View thumbnail sketches of all players verbally committed to join ECU's recruiting class of 2008.]

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01/23/2008 03:10:28 AM


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