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March 9, 2011

Cam Jordan holds court at Cal for the last time

BERKELEY -- For one final time, on Wednesday, former Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan held court with the local media. Following a workout at the Bears' annual pro day during which he mainly worked out in positional drills, the prospective first-round NFL Draft pick was upbeat and, of course, his usual, quotable self.

"You see, I've grown a little bit more facial hair, so everything's connecting these days," said the jovial Jordan, who's beard was nowhere near the Grizzly Adams facial fur sported by fellow pro day attendee Darian Hagan. "I can't go all Baron Davis or Brian Wilson or Braylon Edwards before the season."

Getting down to business, Jordan did not work out in any of the measurable tasks that he competed in during last week's NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He did, however, take part in positional work, showing off deft footwork and even some good hands, catching throws in coverage from quarterback Kevin Riley.

"Everything I can do, I can always get better at, and today, we tried some new drills that I'd never done before," Jordan said. "I'd only seen some guys do it at the combine, and even working out at API Phoenix, so today, they asked me to do some linebacker drills, and I'm down to do anything, really. Had they asked me to do some DB drills, I would have done some 360 turns in there, too. It was a fun experience, and I think, if you give me a week or two, I could kill that drill. I can definitely work on my footwork. I'm sort of a perfectionist when it comes to that type of thing, so I was getting a little frustrated."

Even though Jordan showed some extremely versatile athleticism for a man of his size -- 6-foot-4 3/8, and 286 pounds -- he was more focused on the two passes that he didn't pick off, out of more than 15 throws.

"I had an interception my sophomore year," Jordan smiled. "That was probably the last time that I've seen a ball come with that type of speed or velocity. Other than that, we have Coach (Tosh) Lup(oi), but I don't think that Coach Lup has the speed or the velocity that Riley has. I don't think he's releasing the ball like Riley. I dropped two, I counted. I was upset about each one, but that was the first time I've caught off of Riley. He throws some heat. It's one thing to look at it and another to actually do it. It was fun."

The ever-quotable Jordan wasn't done yet.

"I was thinking about being a wideout," Jordan said to a question about whether he may make a position switch at the next level.

Jordan felt good enough about his measurables recorded at the combine that he eschewed the same drills on Wednesday afternoon.

"I was pretty happy with my combine results because I did the best that I could do in everything that I did," Jordan said. "I came out today just trying to show off my footwork that I didn't get to show in the D-line drills, in the linebacker drills.

"I'm just trying to show a little bit of versatility. They saw me in a two-point stance, so I'm sure a little curiosity came out, so I feel that I could, if you wanted me to. Whether it be at the same weight or drop, I can go either way. I'm willing to do anything that needs to happen."

Jordan has gained roughly a quarter of an inch and lost one pound since the combine, he said with a smirk, and right now, he's focusing on adding a little more definition.

"I'm getting pretty tall. I think I'm having a growth spurt right now. I think I lost a pound from the combine, and you can see it right here, I think. We're going to have a six-pack pretty soon," he laughed, lifting up his shirt. "It's going to be nice. I'm just going to be rocked up."

Jordan's ease with dealing with the media, his numbers at the combine and his performance on the field have sent him rocketing up in the mock drafts recently to as high as the middle of the first round, but he's not at all concerned with those projections.

"That's what it is: a mock draft," Jordan said. "It's not April 28 yet. For all I know, I could either fall out or go up or stay the same. I don't know, so I try not to pay attention to it. All I can handle is what I do every day. I work hard, I wake up in the morning and go as hard as I can, then I fall asleep somewhere around 10:30 or 11. I'm usually asleep before I hit the pillow."

Despite the Bears' poor showing last season, Jordan has seen a lot of attention from the pro ranks, something he says is due to the fact that Cal owned the conference's best defensive unit, one that he said will see no drop off in the next few years.

"We had a great defensive line," Jordan said. "Me, D-Hill and rotating Ernest Owusu and DeAndre Coleman--- you know DeAndre's going to be a monster, if you've seen him play; he's going to be the next beast. Then you've got Gabe King coming up, and this year we took like the top 100 defensive ends and brought them here. Coach Lupoi is just recruiting the world right now. Hopefully, Todd Barr is going to be the next big guy, is what I keep hearing, and the kid from Sacramento (Viliami Moala). I keep hearing things about him, so the man, the myth, the legend, I'm like, psh, 'Take over, baby.' Need to pass the torch to somebody, so let's go.

"DeAndre will probably take my place, maybe not in athleticism, because -- these feet? -- you've seen what these feet can do. Also, probably Ernest. He's the next leader, here, and (Trevor) Guyton. We're not having a drop-off. Everybody expected the D-line to go to shambles when Tyson (Alualu) left, but we had a pretty good year, this year. Now I leave, and we have Ernest, we have Trevor, we have DeAndre, we have King. Gabe King, he's got nice footwork. I'd probably put him closer to my type, except he's a little light in the butt. But, he's like 270 now, 275. Now, we've got to refine the butt. We put the weight on, and now, we just cut it out of him."

Given Jordan's affability and quick wit, the most fun he had at the combine was during the interview phase.

"The weirdest question I was asked, one of the counselors/player development people asked me, 'Are you a dog or a cat?' I don't know what that had to do with football, but I guess I'm a dog? I chase after the ball? I guess I chase things. There were a couple weird questions like that, like what do red and green have in common. They're colors."

Jordan interviewed with most of the teams in the league, but couldn't put a number on his suitors.

"It's like speed dating," Jordan said. "It's round-robin. 'How are you doing? I'm Cameron. Nice to meet you! Hey! Hey! Hey! High five! Great! Let's go. You just go around to a whole bunch of different teams. It's pretty cool."

Jordan hopes to work out individually for some teams, but he's fairly comfortable with where his stock is at right now.

"If they're willing to have me, I'm going to do whatever it takes," Jordan said. "I just want to show every team that, anything they want, I can fit, whether it be a 4-3 two-gap system or a 3-4 one-gap system, I believe I can do anything they want me to do, whether it be a 5-3 or even a nine. Give me a week or two to train at outside linebacker, and I'll be one of the best guys you have."

Jordan has another workout scheduled for Thursday with Cal's new strength and conditioning coach Mike Blasquez, as he goes right back to work preparing for the big day, and that's all that he's focusing on.

"I went from API Phoenix to now, tomorrow, starting out with Coach Blasquez, and he's got a great group of guys training right now," Jordan said. "We did some work today, and a couple NFL guys are coming back to work out with him. I'm going to put my trust in Coach Blasquez from now on, and that's where all my energy is going to be devoted to."

Jordan has a few individual workouts scheduled, having just got the schedule from his agent, Doug Henderson, but has not looked over the list in detail. Currently, Jordan is taking one class, and will need three additional classes after that to complete his degree.

"I want to get closer, and I think that's my last residential unit, so the other three classes, I can do online," Jordan said. "It'll make my time a little bit easier."


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