Entering the summer, once the offers began to roll in from schools across the country, Jarriel Jordan Jr. told himself that by Aug. 1, he needed to have made his college decision.
The date provided a small window for the speedy DeMatha cornerback and wide receiver, who as of four months ago had yet to receive his first scholarship offer. But after taking unofficial visits to Richmond and Delaware on July 15 and 16, respectively, Jordan realized that he had seen enough.
With the relaxing Florida sun as an aid to clear his mind during a family vacation following those visits, Jordan decided to commit to Richmond last Wednesday. For Jordan, his bond with the coaching staff is what made the difference — a notion that was only reaffirmed during his commitment call to Byron Thweatt, the school’s director of high school relations.
“They were so excited that Coach Thweatt told me to call him back so I could talk to the all the coaches,” Jordan recalled with a laugh. “So I talked to the head coach, Coach [Danny] Rocco, the defensive coordinator, Coach [Bob] Trott and then Coach Thweatt again. The coaches are great and I just really connected with them.”
Jordan said he also held offers from Delaware, Hampton, Monmouth and VMI, along with strong interest from the likes of Coastal Carolina, Old Dominion, Stony Brook, Temple and Towson.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder caught the eye of several recruiters when he ran a time of 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash at multiple camps this offseason. This, along with the three interceptions he recorded last year, swayed the Richmond coaches to pursue Jordan.
“They said they liked my speed and plan to use me all over the field, mostly at cornerback and on special teams,” Jordan said.
On paper, it appeared Delaware might win out the battle for Jordan’s talents, what with four DeMatha alumni on the roster. But the appeal of competing close to home under a coaching staff that he felt close with led Richmond to ultimately gain the upper hand.
“I liked Delaware and their coaches, too, but there’s just something about Richmond’s coaches and campus that really made me feel comfortable,” Jordan said. “It’s only a few hours from home, the academics are great and they play good football in a really good league.”
Jordan is the fourth DeMatha rising senior to commit to play college football this summer, with at least five more Division I products expected to join them in the coming months.
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