Lobo Romell Jordan hoping for another year of football - Albuquerque Journal

Lobo Romell Jordan hoping for another year of football

If anyone deserves a sixth year of college football, it’s Romell Jordan. The NCAA rules that govern such matters say he’s not eligible.

Jordan, though, remains optimistic — optimism being a trait that’s helped him get through hard times before.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to do what I did in the time I had,” Jordan, a UNM senior running back and a former Cleveland High School star, said after Tuesday’s practice in preparation for Friday’s season finale at San Diego State. “That’s the only thing I can do, is look forward and look to the future and just be thankful.”

There have been times in Jordan’s life when it seemed he had little to be thankful for.

His last two years in high school, because of family problems, Jordan did not live with his parents. He was taken in by the family of former Cleveland baseball star Blake Swihart.

After a sterling career at Cleveland — he helped the Storm to an undefeated season and a big-school state title as a junior — he accepted a scholarship offer from UNM.

After redshirting in 2013, he became a contributing member of a strong running backs corps in 2014. He broke a 72-yard scoring run during a 28-21 loss to Utah State that November.

Injuries, though, limited him to just eight games and 61 carries as a sophomore. Then, on the final day of spring practice in 2016, he tore an ACL. The injury would sideline him that entire season.

Far worse, that September, his mother, Tamela Denise Cade-Manning, died at age 50.

The tragedy, Jordan said, sent him into a tailspin.

“I stopped eating, I stopped sleeping,” he said. “I just stopped caring. It was just a real low point in my life, and I just didn’t care about much. I didn’t have football, and I didn’t have my mom.”

Time, and the support of family, friends, teammates and coaches, helped  him rally.

“I just had to realize how blessed I was,” he said.

This season, through 11 games, Jordan has rushed for 243 yards with an average of 5.2 yards per carry — highlighted by a 44-yard run against Abilene Christian and an 8-yard touchdown run against UNLV.

He’s done this while weighing less than 170 pounds. Before his mother’s death, he said, he weighed 188.

“(The weight loss) didn’t stop me from throwing my body in there and selling my body for the team,” he said. “I feel like I’m 190 pounds, even though I’m (closer to) 160.”

The season has not gone well. After 7-6 and 9-4 records the past two years, the Lobos go to San Diego State with a 3-8 record — 1-6 in Mountain West Conference play. They were listed as 20-point underdogs to the Aztecs (9-2, 5-2) as of Tuesday evening.

Again, the Jordan optimism peeks through the gloom.

“It could all be worse,” he said. “… When I came here my freshman year, it was sort of like this, but the team wasn’t as tight.  We’re still relying on each other. Back then it was division, ‘I’m for myself.’ Now, it’s for the team.”

As for Jordan’s football future, NCAA rules state that, to get a sixth year having had a redshirt year and having missed another year with an injury, a player must have had a second season-ending injury. That’s not Jordan’s situation.

But, he points out, this season is only the third in which he has competed. And he missed four games in 2015 because of injury.

During his career, with one game remaining, he has played in only 27 of a possible 48 games.

“I’m hoping they look at the facts, and see that I have not had a full four years to play football, and I’m hoping they feel for my case and they approve me,” he said.

And if not?

“I’m just trying to see the positive in everything,” he said. “I don’t ever want to feel cheated, because I’m not. I’ve been blessed to do what I do.”

Friday

UNM at San Diego State

1:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network, 770 AM/94.5 FM

Home » Sports » College » Football » Lobo Romell Jordan hoping for another year of football


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
UNM coach Pitino says of high expectations: 'We’ve got ...
ABQnews Seeker
Lobo basketball coach Richard Pitino sat ... Lobo basketball coach Richard Pitino sat down with the Journal for a wide-ranging preseason podcast conversation about his program.
2
Talking Grammer, Ep. 47: Lobo hoops coach Richard Pitino
ABQnews Seeker
Episode 47 of the Talking Grammer ... Episode 47 of the Talking Grammer podcast is a conversation with coach Richard Pitino as he heads into the 2022-23 Lobo basketball season.
3
Missing defenders no problem for LSU
College
LSU's defense was without safety Major ... LSU's defense was without safety Major Burns, edge rusher BJ Ojulari and nickel safety Jay Ward against the University of New Mexico, but that ...
4
La Cueva QB Armenta makes his call: UNM
College
The courtship began months ago. It ... The courtship began months ago. It ended on Sunday afternoon with a pledge. La Cueva High School quarterback Aidan Armenta, three months after he ...
5
It's all Aggies (over Hawaii) for Kill's first win ...
College
(Game book: New Mexico State 45, ... (Game book: New Mexico State 45, Hawaii 26) LAS CRUCES — Four games into Jerry Kill's initial season as New Mexico State head man, ...
6
UNM finishes second at Tucker
College
For the second year in a ... For the second year in a row, a New Mexico State golfer upstaged the locals at the William H. Tucker ...
7
LSU utterly dominates New Mexico in 38-0 win
College
Offense manages 2 first downs, a ... Offense manages 2 first downs, a record low
8
Lobos in the hunt for Tucker golf title
College
UNM assistant coach Sean Carlon (right) ... UNM assistant coach Sean Carlon (right) watches as UNM’s Matthew Watkins (left), and Brandon Shong line up their putts during the William H. Tucker ...
9
Lobos defense to be tested at LSU -- or ...
College
Brian Kelly spoke with a bit ... Brian Kelly spoke with a bit of nonchalance on Thursday when he said that LSU star wide receiver Kay ...