MAKING HIS OWN MARK
While he continues to honor his father, Jordan isn’t forgetting the promise he made to his mother in making sure his future isn’t “NFL or bust.”
“South Carolina has been a growing experience from day one,” Jordan said. “It has been awesome. Just to come in and have a great academic support system, and (Associate Athletics Director for Academics and Student Development) Maria Hickman, everyone working at the Dodie (Academic Enrichment Center), and to have great coaches molding me along with my mom, I think I was able to grow.”
“Jordan has always been very focused,” Hickman said. “From the time he stepped on campus, graduation is always something that we talked about. He wanted to know how he could graduate early, is grad school an option, internship opportunities – he has always had those types of questions. He has been a very hard worker, very dedicated and very studious as a football player.”
Of all his accomplishments on the field, Altemia takes the most pride in Jordan making the SEC Academic Honor Roll, which requires student-athletes to earn a 3.0 or better grade point average during the semester that his or her sport is in season. South Carolina has led the SEC in the number of student-athletes on the honor roll for each of the last eight years.
“I was able to excel on the field and live out my football dreams, but also get a great academic foundation and go on to get a degree,” Jordan said. “That’s big for my mom and me.
“I know I’ve done a lot of things right, and I think other kids can look at me and say ‘if he got through this, then if I push myself and apply myself, and use the resources I have here, I can excel as well.”
Jordan will earn his degree in May, but he still has one more season of eligibility. With Shed being released from federal prison last November, Jordan’s one wish is for his father to be in the stands to watch him play for the first time in ten years, in a Gamecock uniform.
“He didn’t get to experience high school ball with me even though I was having success,” Jordan said. “All of those things we missed out on, I feel like the emotions that I felt when he missed those moments, they’ll all be washed away just by him being there. For him to be at a game is going to be awesome. I think it’s going to be very special. I think it’s going to mean a lot to me and him.”