Dion Jordan the 6-foot-6, 215-pound four-star tight end/defensive end from Chandler, Ariz., says he has 14 scholarship offers but has narrowed his choices to four schools.
Jordan, ranked as the No. 8 tight end in the country by Scout.com, suffered burns on his arms and below his knees on Oct. 6 when he was helping friends siphon gas out of an older car after football practice had ended. The boys were using a vacuum cleaner to assist in the process. "I went over to the vacuum cleaner to turn it off and when I did, it blew up and burned me," Jordan said.
"I'm good now," he said, discussing his recovery from burn graft surgery on the affected areas. "No schools have backed off of me and I'll be playing football next year. I should be completely recovered by May of next year. I don't have any pain. I only need to get my pigment back and to start doing weightlifting again so I can get my strength back. I missed a month of school but I'll still graduate on time."
Jordan said he now favors Oregon solidly over Colorado, Arizona State and Oregon State. All of his favorites have offered as well as Michigan, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Arizona and others.
Jordan has already taken official visits to Colorado on Sept. 21 and Nebraska on Sept. 14. He says he's "not really" considering the Huskers anymore. "I still like them, but I'm just not really looking at them too much," Jordan said. "I think they are a little too far away. I decided I'd prefer to stay a little closer to home.
"It was a great trip and Nebraska is a great place," he said. "I love the tradition and the fans. I know they've had a tough year, but I'm not really looking at that stuff. I still talk with the coaches once in a while, but we don't talk about rumors and those things."
While the Huskers may not be in his top four, the Buffs still are. "My favorite thing about the trip was being around all the coaches and players," he said. "They are all cool people and seem like they'd be fun to play for. There were all very down to earth and laid-back. That was when they played Oklahoma and that was just a crazy game. The place went off! I also really loved Boulder and the whole area is beautiful."
All of the schools in Jordan's top four are recruiting him for tight end, except for Oregon State, which has also talked about him playing defensive end. "Oregon State is recruiting me the hardest, but they aren't sure if they want me for offense or defense," he said. "They are a great team that is still up-and-coming. It's a real family-type program and you can tell all the players are close. I like that."
While the Beavers may be recruiting him the hardest, it's the Ducks that are in Jordan's top spot. "I've always loved their offense," he said. "Also the coaches are pretty cool. They know how to win and coach Mike Bellotti has been there a long time. He says that I'd fit in well with the offense and that they'd use me as a slot-type guy and blocker too. They want me to create mismatches with the linebackers.
"Oregon has been really big this year," he said just minutes prior to the Ducks loss to Arizona. "I've been waiting for them for the last few years to break through. They've always had the talent and now it's finally come together.
"The main reason that Oregon is number one right now is that they put the ball up in the air," he said. "You can't beat their offense (with Dennis Dixon). I'll visit them for sure. I just need to reset the trip."
Jordan says he doesn't have a timetable for making a decision and that anything can still happen. He mentioned he wants to stay close to home and Arizona State is only 15 minutes from his house. "Distance is a factor," he said. "I definitely don't want to go too far.
"I also really like how coach Dennis Erickson came in and turned things around right way," he said. "I was there for a practice during the summer and it was crazy. The practice was super intense and they were all having fun. It was different from last year. I think coach Erickson loosened the program up and is just letting them go out and have fun.
"I wasn't surprised by their success, but I didn't think they'd be ranked so high," he admitted. "I think they'll be going to a good bowl game and will finish the year strong."
Chandler's season ended in the first round of the playoffs with a final record of 8-3. "I have a good combination of size and speed," he said. "I am great at creating mismatches on linebackers and can run down the field and make things happen. I'm pretty exciting on the field.
"I'm just working on my overall knowledge and want to play smarter," he admitted. "I want to keep learning and stay focused."
He reports a 2.4 core GPA but says he doesn't remember his SAT score. No retake date has been set yet. "I took it last year," he said. "I don't really remember. I took summer school and am doing better in school. I just want to finish strong and I'll be good."