Jordan Looks to Lead DL

Cameron Jordan

To describe senior defensive end Cameron Jordan's time at Cal as a roller coaster ride is a bit of an understatement…

Coming from a family with a strong NFL background – father Steve spent 13 years with the Minnesota Vikings – young Cameron Jordan had a lot to prove when he left Arizona and stepped foot down on Berkeley. He did not disappoint.

Jordan stepped into fall camp and impressed well enough to be a regular part of the rotation as a true freshman. That year, in his first visit back to his home state as a Bear – a 2007 matchup against Arizona State in Tempe – Jordan made his mark. Early in that game, Jordan returned a fumble 13 yards for his first career touchdown.

Since that moment, Jordan's potential became obvious to California fans. With a very good start to his career, Jordan seemed primed to take it to the next level as he headed into 2008. The ride was enjoyable, and the future looked bright.

Heading into 2008, Jordan was slated to compete for a starting job. In the weeks leading up to the first game, Jordan committed a violation of team rules, resulting in a suspension for the opening game against Michigan State. In what can be described as a low point in Jordan's career, he did not let it faze him. Despite being buried back into the depth chart, Jordan worked hard and awaited for his opportunity. He got his chance, starting in the 2008 Homecoming game against, ironically, Arizona State.

In that game, Jordan managed eight tackles, including two sacks and a forced fumble. His play earned him Pac-10 player of the week, and gave him a wave of momentum that he rode right through the end of a very successful season. Despite only starting eight games and being suspended for one, Jordan was named All-Pac-10. The ride was, once again, smooth.

With expectations high heading into 2009, Jordan worked hard, but could not find the consistency that was needed to match. Despite his struggles, Jordan managed to once again finish All-Pac-10 and win the team award for most improved defensive lineman. Despite the accolades, Jordan was disappointed with his overall performance. The ride was becoming uncomfortable.

But now is the final year for Jordan; a final opportunity to go out strong and leave the legacy that he is supposed to leave. To get there, Jordan knows well that consistency is the main goal, especially now that former lineman Tyson Alualu has moved on to the NFL.

"I definitely need to be more consistent," says Jordan. "You have people like Tyson leave, and so you're waiting for that next person to step up. For the past three years, I was there to aid Tyson and his greatness. But I think it's definitely time for me to come on my own."

In addition, Jordan fully realizes that his job of replacing Alualu has more to do than just the on-field production. He knows that he must step up and become a leader off the field, as well.

"I just try to take care of the D Line," Jordan said. "And with me and [Derrick] Hill here, we're trying to step up, and just get the D Line better. We're always trying to push each other. That's the great thing about it. When you have that much leadership to get into a competitive mode... it's great since we're always trying to get better."

"I'm here hoping that everybody can learn from any of my past mistakes," says Jordan. "Whether it's on the field or off the field, we are just trying to get better. To be better people as well as better players."

"I'm committed to helping them."

And he's committed to helping make the end of his ride be as thrilling and memorable as it can be.

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