Sometimes in life, we are so close to the people and things around us that we are unable to view them for what they are. It is not that we undervalue them but we can take them for granted. Take Mount Hood or Multnomah Falls for example. After we have seen them many times we kind of shrug and think that they are “pretty cool”. When someone else sees them from back East or down South their jaws drop. I know people who have been so stunned by the beauty of Oregon, once they have seen it, that they exit their lives elsewhere and come here, risking it all just to be a part of it. The fact is they see those things for what they are, the most beautiful things in the world.
Us locals are just too close to see it.
Among high school athletes, dropping down from 11, 250 feet on the summit of Mt. Hood to the football field, we see a similar phenomenon. College coaches and analysts can easily get it twisted and think to themselves, “man Alabama and Texas are football meccas, I’ll go there and get athletes”. That is a pattern as old as the game itself. Each year we see our NW Colleges wait on local kids who are as good or better than those from far away places. They wait and wait and the athletes, the really good ones, get recognized from afar. Every season many of our local kids get recruited by college coaches in places far removed who are watching the NW for talent and who realize real big-time talent when they see it. Our local Coaches and recruiters can really miss out on our boys in the same way we take that Mountain for granted.
Today one of our best, QB Caleb Jordan from Clackamas, had a great offer from Lousiville from the ACC Conference. That is a conference loaded with powerhouse talent and teams and one where postseason performance has been pretty amazing the past 2 years. This is no schelp program somewhere tucked away back East. The Cardinal’s are a power football team with a huge campus and stadium and they just put QB Lamar Jackson (Heisman Trophy / Maxwell Award) into the NFL in Round 1. There they are located in Louisville, Kentucky on a 400 acre Campus just off the shores of the historic Ohio River. Perfectly located 1/2 way between Atlanta and Chicago, this program plays a schedule that exposes the athletes to almost every NFL front office live each Saturday. One could say a program like this with a Coach like Nick Petrino, sighted in the epicenter of college football, is a dream school.
Time will tell if Caleb, who is going to be a Junior, will go to Louisville but something happened for this kid today that changed his life forever. His life has changed profoundly and although he knows it he won’t realize it for a while. Today he was recognized, or some would say “anointed”, by a high caliber school and coach. A Power 5 Conference school and a Coach who produced a Heisman Trophy winner in the modern era. His stock has risen and he has left the majority in the recruiting pool behind. No longer will he wonder if he will land an offer from the bigs! That is now history.
Grateful and excited to announce that I’ve received my first FBS Power 5 offer from the @UofLFootball. Special thanks to @CoachPetrinoUL and Coach @NickPetrinoUL for this amazing gift. Prove your supporters right. #BirdGang2020 #NGEE pic.twitter.com/sGGNq3JYz5
— Caleb ‘CJ’ Jordan – ’20 (@CJ_Jordan7) May 15, 2018
How did his happen? Well Caleb’s phone was unplugged tonight because he can not handle all the calls and has homework to do. That came straight from his Dad and former head coach, Anthony Jordan. But we did get his Coach to explain what happened and why Louisville made this move.
“The process began week two of last season. I just started sharing his evaluation info with programs that I believed fit his style of play. Coach Bobby Petrino followed me back and we began developing a Coach to Coach relationship. He grew over the last 8 months and I kept Coach Petrino updated on his progress. We were invited to camp in June but because Oregon Schools get out later than the camp dates, getting to Lousiville and back for school day was far too difficult. Today, QB Coach Nick Petrino flew in to see CJ personally at spring practice this afternoon and extended an offer. Amazing,” said Coach Jordan.
Is Louisville a good fit for the 6’2″, 185 lb. gunslinger from Northeast Portland? We sure think so and so does his father.
“CJ runs the read option very well, and we are excited about it for sure. We are a long way from making any commitments as we know he still has to continue to earn it over the next two seasons. We will embrace the process and I will support him as he begins to consider his future. But what Louisville did today for our family was truly special,” added his Dad.
Adding to this is that this offer is deserved and CJ is projecting on a path that could take him far beyond Louisville. Time will tell. But his talent, which was so obvious to Nick Petrino on film, has not been recognized by the Pac 12 schools; at least not yet. Why? I think it is because they are too close to him and are not able to see that he is that good. This will wake them up and no doubt CJ’s name is on their boards somewhere. We see offers coming this next season from all over but his first big offer will always be this one, the one that came from Louisville.
Jordan would not be the first to slip through the cracks here in the NW. There is another kid from Lakeridge High School who we saw go through this same process. Syracuse now has Eric Dungey and this Oregonian has over 6,000 yards of offense in 3 seasons for the Orangemen, second only to Donovan McNabb. Dungey had a late offer from Syracuse his Senior season and no Pac 12 majors made him a bid. None of them have landed a QB who has gained so much National attention nor won the big games that Dungey has in this same era. He got away, and Caleb Jordan may too!
Personally, for the sake of our NW boys, I hope Caleb leaves the NW and goes back East. No doubt it is guys like Dungey that have more and more coaches looking here for winners. Petrino no doubt realizes this too. Everytime a NW football prospect goes to the East and does what they do well it opens massive trade routes for our recruits who are often starved for offers here.
Admirers from afar will never be able to move Mt. Hood closer or take it from us. Not the case with our football recruits. Caleb will shine wherever he goes and based on this first big offer he could very well play his collegiate career far from Portland, Oregon!
Way to go Caleb!
Editors note: We have preached over the years for parents to play an active role in the recruiting process. Make the calls, press the flesh, break down the walls, and do not let your athlete or “handlers” do this for them. You have the biggest seat at the recruiting table so take advantage of it and follow the lead of Coach Anthony Jordan and be active. Be present and involved in the process and of course ask for help and we will dive right in to do so; never a charge!
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