If Cameron Jordan’s name sounds familiar in National Football League circles, it’s because he comes from football bloodlines. His father, Steve Jordan, played 13 seasons as a tight end in the National Football League after graduating from Brown University. He spent his entire professional career with the Minnesota Vikings, where he was a six-time Pro Bowl selection.
With the graduation of All-Pac 10 Conference defensive end Tyson Alualu, the Golden Bears’ front wall looked to Jordan to fill the void in 2010. Blessed with untapped potential, the coaching staff hoped new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast could bring out the best in the senior. Based on the excellent season he had, the defensive end emerged as one of the elite pass rushers in the collegiate ranks.
Jordan responded by earning first-team All-Pac-10 Conference honors in his final collegiate season. He was the leader of a defensive unit that led the league and ranked 18th nationally, allowing just 319.08 yards in total offense per game. Their star defensive end ranked seventh in the conference in tackles for loss (1.04 tpg) and 11th in sacks (0.46 spg). He totaled a career-high 12.5 stops for losses of 47 yards, including 5.5 sacks for minus 32 yards.
Over the past four seasons, Jordan has been an imposing figure from the demanding “five technique” defensive end position in the Bears’ 3-4 alignment. His non-stop motor and violent usage of hands allow him to work past blocks and create havoc in the backfield. In his career, he’s produced 16.5 sacks for minus 89 yards, 34.0 stops for losses totaling 122 yards and 11 quarterback pressures.
Jordan also possesses the natural raw power to shut down the opponent’s ground attack. He has the anchor to hold up at the point and the strength to fight off blocks and get to the ball carrier. On 154 plays in which he’s made tackles, Jordan limited opposing runners to just 205 yards and an average of 1.33 yards per carry. He allowed just 13 first downs on those carries and produced 32 third-down hits. He also tackled 18 ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain.
As a senior at Chandler High School, Jordan earned All-State honors. That season, he registered 17.5 sacks, 37 quarterback pressures and 85 tackles, breaking the school’s career record for sacks in just one season. He was awarded Fiesta Region Defensive Player of Year honors after leading the Wolves to an impressive 11-2 overall record, and was named the top defensive lineman at the Nike Training Camp in Los Angeles. Jordan was a Prep Star All-West Region choice and was selected to the All-Far West team by Super Prep. He was given a three-star rating by Rivals.com, who listed him as the nation’s 37th-best strong-side defensive end and the eighth overall recruit from the state of Arizona. Scout.com also rated him a three-star prospect, as that recruiting service ranked him the nation’s 55th-best defensive end.
Jordan enrolled at Cal in 2007 and immediately began contributing. He played in all 13 games as a reserve during as a true freshman and finished with 18 tackles (seven solos). He assisted on two sacks, delivered three quarterback pressures and returned a fumble 13 yards for a score vs. Arizona State.
The following season, the sophomore earned an All-Pac-10 Conference honorable mention, as he played in 12 contests with eight starting assignments and registered 47 tackles (26 solos), including four sacks and 11 stops for losses. He added two quarterback pressures, one interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He earned the league’s Defensive Player of the Week award in his first career start vs. Arizona State, finishing with eight tackles (five solos), two sacks and three stops for losses. Jordan was selected honorable mention All-Pac 10 Conference as a junior in 2009. He started all 13 games at right defensive end and collected a career-high 48 tackles (22 solos), including six sacks and 9.5 stops for losses. He added five quarterback pressures, one pass deflection and a fumble recovery.
Entering his final season, Jordan was named to the Watch List for the Ted Hendricks Award, presented annually to college football’s top defensive end. He moved to left defensive end and started all 12 games there. The senior stepped up as a team captain, posting a career-best 62 tackles (33 solos) with 5.5 sacks and 12.5 stops for losses. He added three forced fumbles, four pass deflections and a quarterback pressure. He also returned a fumble recovery 21 yards for a touchdown.