Cal's Jordan shakes off top-30 omission, eyes next season

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

In early April, this item appeared in the mailbag, eliciting a "Yikes!" from the Pac-10 blog.

Cameron from Berkeley writes: Dear Mr. Miller, I would like to remind you that you've left me off your list of top 30 players in the Pac-10. I can only assume this is a glaring oversight, and if you could do it all over again, you would. I see that many of your picks have been based on future NFL projections. Well, I have it on good authority that my draft stock will skyrocket once more scouts realize how the 3 DLs in Cal's 3-4 make it seem like a we're playing a 5-4. I am also the fastest lineman on the team, despite being over 285 pounds. You, however, don't need to take my word for all of this. I will use the field of play to air out my grievances. Everson "I'm Offsides" Griffen? REALLY? Thank you in advance for your All Pac-10 selection for 2009. Violently yours, Cameron Jordan Incredible Defensive End California Golden Bears

"I was pretty sure I didn't write that," Cameron Jordan said this week. "And if I did it, I would have said it jokingly."

Jordan, a junior from Chandler, Ariz., added that the note was brought to his attention in the Cal training room. He added that he had not been following the Pac-10 blog's ranking of the conference's top 30 players.

"I don't really read articles and tabloids like that," he said.


Of all the players who were left off the top-30 list, Jordan's absence probably caused the most indignant stir, at least based on notes and comments.

And not without justification.

Jordan didn't start until the fifth game of the season, after Rulon Davis injured his foot. It was an auspicious debut. He wracked up eight tackles and two sacks vs. Arizona State and earned Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

He also stepped up in big games. He had 10 tackles, 2.5 for loss, and a sack versus Oregon and a sack and six stops against USC. He had two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in the Emerald Bowl victory over Miami.

His 11 tackles for loss tied for 13th in the conference by season's end.

Jordan will again pair with senior end Tyson Alualu next fall, giving the Bears the best combination of defensive ends in the conference. And with eight starters back overall on the unit, the defense as a whole should be pretty formidable, even with the departure of three A-list linebackers.

The unit certainly controlled the action during spring practices, which ended for the Bears with a scrimmage last Saturday.

"It's just spring ball but it seems like we've got a pretty solid core group," Jordan said.

Jordan also knows where his game needs to improve. He has uncanny speed to go with a 6-foot-4, 285-pound frame but he needs to get physically stronger. Last year, if an offensive tackle got his hands on Jordan, he had trouble breaking free.

Arizona's Eben Britton, a likely NFL first-round draft pick, smothered Jordan, holding him to just one tackle in the Bears 42-27 defeat.

"I've got a little ways to go in the weight room," Jordan admitted, adding he's 25 pounds short of pushing his bench press over 400 pounds.

Jordan didn't seemed too stressed about being left off the list. He said a certain Pac-10 blogger should feel perfectly safe wandering the streets of Berkeley.

And just wait until this season.

"It's all good with me," he said. "I honestly think I should be on any list, especially if it's top 30. But if I didn't get on it, it means I have something to work for next year."

Violently yours, Cameron Jordan, Incredible Defensive End, California Golden Bears.