TAMPA – Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Gaither wide receiver Cayden Jordan knows a thing or two about adversity.
The 2018 product was told by doctors on Oct. 14 before the Plant game that he had the disease. Jordan also had a shoulder injury that forced him to miss a few games last season.
“I have learned that teamwork and hard work is everything on a football team,” Jordan told Prep Sports Scouting. “I came back from the ICU that Wednesday and practiced that Thursday. Then I came and surprised everyone and played against Plant that next day. I finished second in the district in receiving yards and averaged 20.4 yds a catch. I was selected to the All-Western Conference team and made Honorable Mention All-State.”
At 6’2″, 180 lbs., Jordan played defensive back as both a freshman and sophomore. He says he was playing out of position and never really liked defense. He’s focused on playing wide receiver and calls himself more of an offensive player. He totaled 22 catches for 449 yards and a touchdown as a junior.
Starting his football life at a very young age, Jordan comes from a long line of family members who had great success playing football.
His uncle Terry played quarterback at Gaither and was labeled as an all-state quarterback in his senior year. He then played at NC State for three years and won a few bowl games there. His other uncle Mike played quarterback at Gaither and earned a scholarship to play at UCF. His father received a scholarship from Iowa Central Junior College.
On top of that, his grandfather’s cousin Lee Roy Jordan played for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960’s and 1970’s and was inducted into their Ring of Honor.
“So, as you can see football was embedded into me at a very young age,” he said. “I started playing tackle football when I was nine years old and I played running back and defensive back. I feel like I have always had confidence but I think it really took off for me last summer when I started playing wide receiver, it was a very easy transition for me. In 7-on-7 I just came over to play receiver and started making plays and the coaches ended up keeping me there and I have enjoyed it ever since.”
Jordan calls his father is his biggest role model.
“He has stuck with me all throughout my entire life and especially high school,” Jordan said. “He put in countless hours with me for training and even watching different film on my opponents so that I’m prepared for my games. I have learned everything in football from my dad. I guess you could say that he is my second coach, just away from the football field.”
At Gaither, Jordan played under head coach Jason Stokes. He said it was a good opportunity and is grateful for letting him play wide receiver.
Kirk Karsen will take over the reigns for the Cowboys this season.
“I love the changes that he is making to our team, he is beginning to form a brotherhood amongst the team,” Jordan said. “He is also changing our mentality into a more discipline and physical team. He has also brought a really good coaching staff with him and I feel like he is going to help us win a lot of games this year. I just can’t wait to get the season started with him.”
He called his biggest strengths his hands, route running and speed. He’s aiming to be more physical and aggressive and use his hands better in routes.
Jordan also played baseball and lacrosse growing up.
Currently, he has interest from Lehigh, Colgate, Brown, Harvard, Yale and Furman. He’s also going to the Stetson spring game.
Jordan’s ultimate goal is to earn a scholarship and to play in the NFL one day.
He is a trooper and a warrior and it is awesome to see Jordan play through a tough disease. There are plenty of athletes that play through diabetes and Jordan is clearly playing through it. He should get ample of opportunities to make plays as a senior.
Favorite players to watch – Raiders WR Amari Cooper
Favorite movies – Friday Night Lights
Favorite TV shows – Duck Dynasty
Game film: Jordan’s Hudl tape
Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.