Jacob Jordan Stands Tall For The Dragons
By Carlos Mendez
Photos by Ron Jenkins
Try to cover Jacob Jordan.
Go ahead. Line up in front of him. Focus on his helmet or shoulders or feet. Your choice. Wait for the snap. Anticipate his first move. Try to match it. Then keep up as he makes a cut inside, or outside, or stops, or curls, or smashes the turbo button to jet up the seam. If you have a chance, look for the ball — because it’s coming.
You’re probably in no worse position than numerous opponents across District 4-6A, Region I and the state. In 2022, as a junior, Jordan caught 16 touchdown passes and averaged almost 19 yards a catch. He’s one of the top prospects in the state and on the way to the University of Oklahoma.
Next year, the folks in Norman will get to watch the fancy footwork.
“I just love running routes, getting open on DBs, scoring touchdowns. That’s what I love to do,” the senior leader of the Dragons receiving corps said. “I love Stefon Diggs’ route running. I looked at Julian Edelman a lot when he played. Cooper Kupp. And Hunter Renfrow, I like his story, too.”
Notice those pros are all elite technicians at their craft? Jordan seeks to imitate them. To the Dragons, he’s already done that.
“What is there to be said about Jacob Jordan that hasn’t been said?” quarterback Graham Knowles said. “That guy, the way he runs routes is second to none. He makes it real easy. I just have to keep it away from the defense because he’ll be open. His speed is one of a kind.”
The speed, the footwork, the hands. There are multiple reasons Jordan stands at the head of a talented corps of receivers at Carroll. Wide receivers Clayton Wayland and Brock Boyd will make big contributions, along with tight ends Jack VanDorselaer and Ben Karlsson, among many others.
The go-to Dragon is obviously Jordan, however.
“Jacob’s very versatile. Explosive. Tough,” Carroll coach Riley Dodge said. “I think he’s one of our best practice players. And one of our best workers. When one of your better players is doing that on a daily basis in the weight room and outside when we’re running, great things are going to happen for him.”
None of what has made Jordan one of the best players on the team is a surprise to the coaches and players who have watched him come up through the Dragon system. Born in Waco, he lived in Dallas as a small child then moved with his parents to New York, before the family came back to Texas when he was in fifth grade.
From then on, he seemed destined to be a Dragon pass-catcher. Even if he didn’t become the biggest Dragon stature-wise — he’s 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds — he became the guy to keep up with on the field, in the weight room and in film study.
“He was a little guy,” Dodge said, remembering with a slight smile how the middle-schooler came up. “He’s still not the biggest guy, but he’s all jacked up. He’s got muscles on muscles. A very explosive athlete. Very twitchy.
“Watching him when he was a seventh grader, watching him move up, his work ethic separated him. When you’re that size and you get an opportunity at Oklahoma, you’ve got to be pretty special.”
Jordan, who announced his commitment to the Sooners on July 22, has not been doing all that work in the dark. For years, his teammates have seen it and let it rub off on them.
“I can see his work ethic day in, day out,” VanDorselaer said. “That kid works his butt off all the time. His hands are insane. His route running is very good. He’s a very competitive player.
“It’s a pain to guard him. Very shifty guy. He makes up for his size with his speed, his mindset. He’s very competitive. He doesn’t like to lose. He hates to lose, and he loves to win.”
Hmm. Sounds like a lot of Dragons out there.
“It’s always what I’ve been about,” Jordan said of his reputation for work and desire to win. “And I think that’s the best quality about me, my work ethic.”
Then let’s get to work. Try to match him. Maybe you can cover him. One day.