For Cam Jordan, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a basketball or a football, the 6-4, 190-pound Half Hollow Hills West senior just wants to own it.
“When I see a ball in the air I’m going to attack the ball. I’m going to use my long arms and my jumping ability to make sure no one else can get it,” Jordan said during a break in his second football practice of the day on Tuesday.
Jordan was an explosive second-team Newsday All-Long Island wide receiver last year for the Colts’ 9-2 team that lost in the Suffolk Division II finals, and was the starting center whose shot-blocking and rebounding helped the school’s basketball team dethrone two-time Long Island champion Brentwood in the Suffolk Class AA title game.
“The championship in basketball will help a lot in football. You can tell the guys what the experience was like, playing in a big game and playing in front of a big crowd where there’s a lot of pressure,” said Jordan, who has verbally committed to play football for Syracuse and its new coach, Dino Babers. “It can be frightening the first time, but in the first couple of minutes of the game you get the jitters out and you block it out. Coach Madden says, ‘Keep the game small.’ Hopefully we can win a championship in football, too. We’re the team to beat.”
Kyle Madden, in his 17th year as the head coach at Hills West, the No. 1 preseason seed in the division, said he saw something special in Jordan as far back as the ninth grade.
“I had a feeling about this kid. He was very raw and he didn’t have the greatest skill set, but he was willing to work,” Madden said. “Now he’s honing his 6-4 frame, he has a 40-inch vertical leap and runs a 4.4 40. All these college coaches [that recruited Jordan] — Syracuse, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Boston College, Stony Brook, Buffalo — they all saw the upside in this kid. He’s still learning the finer points of receiving and route-running, but the one thing the college coaches tell me that they love about Cam is that he goes and gets the ball. He catches it with his hands and doesn’t let it get to his body.”
So whether it’s on turf or grass this fall, or on the hardwood this winter, you can apply these Jordan Rules: There will be one Colt boxing out a defender and outjumping him for the ball.
“I love to work hard and show people what I’m all about and to show the talents that I have on the court and on the field,” Jordan said. “I’ve been blessed with some natural ability and I’ve learned how to take advantage of that.”
Syracuse noticed that ability, and Madden thinks the Orange is a perfect fit for Jordan because “Coach Babers loves to use three, four or five wide receivers.”
While Jordan acknowledges making his college choice in July “took a lot of pressure off in the summer,” he has put that behind him.
“I’m not even thinking about college now,” Jordan said. “I’m just working hard and thinking about winning a championship for this team. I’ve been here since sophomore year. I’m not too happy about how the last two years ended.”