PINEVILLE (KALB) -- “In an instant, I knew. I knew it was torn. It would be a week until I got the full diagnosis, but almost immediately, I knew what had happened.”
Mason Jordan’s journey to the Louisiana College starting quarterback position seems as if it were plucked from a screenplay.
It has all the typical ingredients to a blockbuster film: a kid passionate about a sport with the ability to succeed, multiple disasters threatening to derail his dreams, all the while overcoming those obstacles to reach his ultimate goal. Cue the dramatic music and you can see the trailer now.
But for Mason Jordan, this journey wasn’t on the silver screen. It happened, to him, and at times it was nothing short of a nightmare.
Jordan went into his redshirt sophomore year with the Wildcat’s starting job in front of him.
“Head into fall camp, we really felt like it was going to be his job, he had an especially first good two weeks,” said second year Head Coach Justin Charles.
It would be the end of the second week of fall camp that would prove disastrous for Jordan.
“I felt a pop. And that was it,” says Jordan.
“He tore his ACL, and he really didn’t know how to handle it,” said Charles. “He felt like maybe this was God telling him he needed to move on from football, and we understood that, and respected it.”
Jordan was despondent in the aftermath of his injury, but came to the realization that maybe football had come to hold too much of a place in his life.
“I felt like I had made football my God. This was God’s way of helping me get my priorities straight again.”
This spring, having only man quarterback with experience on the roster, Coach Charles picked up his phone and dialed Jordan’s number.
“I remember just asking him if he’d be willing to give it another go, and he said ‘Yeah, Coach, sure, I’ll give it everything I got,’ “ said Charles.
“I ended up heading back out there, and it was tough. My knee was killing me, always swollen.”
It was clear that Jordan needed more time to recover, and after a fall camp that saw him struggling with the pain, Charles sat down Jordan in his office.
“It was evident, he needed more time. He just wasn’t ready. So we came to the agreement that he would be away and if we needed him, he’d show up.”
After three weeks, the Wildcats would need him.
Starting quarterback Skylar Bonneau went down with a season ending toe injury, and Charles picked up the phone and made the call to Jordan.
“I called Mason that morning, that afternoon he was in the meeting room, watching film. Like he had never left.”
“I hadn’t been following much, I didn’t even know that Skylar was injured, but when Coach Charles asked me to come back out there, I didn’t hesitate.”
With Jordan back in the locker room, Coach Charles knew he had a man who could make the right decisions and who had a strong work ethic. What he didn’t know was just exactly how Jordan would be able to perform.
“That first day, he gets out there…he couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn if you asked him too. He just couldn’t,” Charles chuckled. “But he was making the right reads, the right decisions. So initially, was I worried?
Yes, yes I was. But then the next day, he’s out there, and those same correct reads, he’s putting the ball on the money. He’s making all the throws. By Thursday’s practice, he looked like one of the better quarterbacks we’ve had in awhile.”
After three days of practice, it was time for Mason Jordan to take the field for the first time in his college career.
“Coach looked at me and asked if I was ready and I said ‘If I ain’t ready now, I don’t think I ever will be’ and we both just laughed,” said Jordan.
“For Mason, getting to see him jog out onto that field, lead that huddle. That was a very special moment for me as a Coach," added Charles. "Just knowing everything he’s been through. I couldn’t have been happier for him.”
Jordan would go on to toss three touchdowns and throw for 279 yards in the team’s beatdown of Sul Ross. For his performance, he was named the American Southwest Conference Player of the Week. Since taking over for the Wildcats, he has tossed for ten touchdowns and only two interceptions.
“It’s been a wild ride, but to finally be here, it means the world. To get to go out and compete with those guys, that’s all I could ask for.”
Mason Jordan journey to the LC starting quarterback role has had its twists and turns. But through it all, one thing remained the same: his faith that, in the end, he would be right where he needed to be.